With reclassification creating a 13-team Prince George's 4A league and leaving eight teams in the Prince George's 3A/2A league this season and next, it was decided that each of the 3A/2A teams would play one game against a 4A opponent. The pairings, determined by random draw, delivered one prime matchup, with No. 5 Gwynn Park (4-0) traveling to No. 14 Suitland (3-1) on Saturday.
"I love games like this," Gwynn Park Coach Danny Hayes said. "You don't want games where you have blowouts and things like that. This shows if you can coach or not."
Gwynn Park had a close call two weeks ago, beating Friendly 13-12 in overtime. Otherwise, the Yellow Jackets have sailed along this season and have won 49 of their past 51 regular season games. A key matchup on Saturday will be to see how Suitland defends wide receivers Quintin McCree and Trevor Germany.
The Rams, whose only loss was to undefeated Douglass, should get a boost from the return of All-Met linebacker Navorro Bowman, who is expected to play after missing two games because of a bruised right shoulder.
In the Prince George's 3A/2A league, No. 17 Potomac (4-0) puts its 18-game winning streak on the line at Friendly tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the Wolverines' first test this season. Potomac has outscored its opponents by a combined 138 to 21. Quarterback James Nickens and linebacker Adrian McLeod were key players on last season's Maryland 2A title team, but this will be their first challenge as leaders of a team that is expected to make a run at another title. . . .
In the Prince George's 4A league, it will be an unusual Friday afternoon of football as Parkdale hosts Bowie in a meeting of 3-1 teams coming off losing seasons. With three victories in a row, Bowie has put together its longest winning streak since claiming the Maryland 4A title in 2001. Parkdale fell on similarly tough times after winning the Maryland 4A title in 2002. Now both teams are thinking playoffs but need a victory Friday to contend with the likes of No. 9 Douglass, No. 20 Eleanor Roosevelt, Suitland and C.H. Flowers.
-- JOSH BARR