RONNIE CURLEY, HOWARD
The senior quarterback did a bit of everything in his team's 39-14 victory over Atholton on Friday.
Curley threw a 63-yard touchdown pass, ran for 82 yards on 11 carries and, as a safety, made five tackles and forced a fumble.
"He always keeps things under control out there," said Howard Coach David Glenn. "Every time Atholton was trying to get back into the game, Ronnie did something to stop them."
Curley completed two of seven attempts for 105 yards. His 63-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Dyson in the third quarter made Atholton stop crowding the line of scrimmage, providing running room for David Duran (5 carries, 111 yards, 1 TD) and Vincent Coleman (10 carries, 82 yards).
"Ronnie's a smart player, and the only reason he doesn't get more recognition is because of our [2-5] record," Glenn said. "He's a tough-as-nails kid and the kind of player you want out there when the game's on the line."
For the season, Curley is 42 for 113 passing for 693 yards, 3 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.
You Should See
LONG REACH AT RIVER HILL
2 p.m. SATURDAY
River Hill hosts the Lightning in a game between two undefeated teams looking for a county title and a berth in the 3A East Region playoffs.
The winner takes a major step toward both goals.
"That game is going to be the biggest game any of us has ever played," Long Reach junior quarterback Ray Gilbert said.
River Hill has one of the county's most balanced offenses, led by senior quarterback Ben Hostetler (790 yards passing, 11 TDs, 2 INTs) and senior running back Tyler Martin (733 yards rushing, 7 TDs). Long Reach counters with a defense that allows an average of 8.4 points per game and has three shutouts.
The two teams usually play close. River Hill has won the past two meetings by a total of seven points. River Hill posted a 28-27 victory in overtime last year, one reason Long Reach missed the playoffs.
"Our teams are very similar because they have a good defense and we have a good defense, and that's why it's always close," River Hill Coach Brian Van Deusen said. "It should be a good one again this year because both teams have so much riding on it."
GLENELG AT MOUNT HEBRON
2 p.m. SATURDAY
The Gladiators have won five straight over the Vikings, but Mount Hebron is off to its best start since 1982 -- the last time it qualified for the playoffs.
The game will likely come down to which run-oriented offense is more successful. Glenelg is averaging 330 rushing yards per game, led by senior Blake Mullnix (661 yards, 6 TDs) and junior Stephen Bullard (524 yards, 7 TDs).
"Nobody has really stopped Glenelg on offense this year, and that worries me," Mount Hebron Coach Larry Luthe said. "We know we won't stop them completely. We just want to contain them and hope we make them punt it a few times."
Glenelg also needs to improve defensively after a 42-33 loss to Long Reach, the most points it gave up since 1998.
"We really need to work on our tackling this week because that hurt us against Long Reach," Glenelg senior nose guard J.P. Debrowski said. "We were leading 20-0 against Long Reach early and then it all fell apart, so we learned that no lead is safe."
Mount Hebron (7-0 overall, 6-0 league) boasts two of the county's top running backs in senior Brendan Clancy (740 yards, 12 TDs) and junior Chris Eccleston (668 yards, 7 TDs).
The Vikings have not played a team with a winning record, but they finish the season with games against three teams that entered the week with a combined record of 20-1.
"We beat the teams we should beat," Larry Luthe said. "Now it's time to find out how good we really are."
-- JON GALLO