Potomac and Gwynn Park have dominated the Prince George's 3A/2A league in recent years. But because of a scheduling quirk, the Wolverines and Yellow Jackets did not play the past two seasons -- their only matchup was one of words as both went 10-0 during the regular season last year, sharing the league trophy as co-champions.
However, with three teams moving from the 3A/2A league to the Prince George's 4A league, 3A/2A now includes a full round-robin schedule to determine a champion. The game nearly three years in the works -- Potomac vs. Gwynn Park -- takes place Saturday in Brandywine.
"Let's put it this way," Potomac Coach Eric Knight said. "We wanted to play them last year and wanted to play them the year before. In actuality, they dodged a bullet the last two years. Now, it's a little more of an even matchup."
Some of the matchup's luster was diminished this past week, when Potomac had its 18-game winning streak end in a 6-0 loss to Friendly. Gwynn Park, however, continued its roll, winning its 16th consecutive regular season game, 27-7, over Maryland 4A defending champion Suitland. Now, the Yellow Jackets get a second consecutive chance to knock off a state champion, 2A titlist Potomac.
Meantime, one of the teams that moved up to the 4A league, Douglass, looks to continue an impressive run through its new league against Eleanor Roosevelt in a clash of 5-0 teams. Already having beaten Suitland and C.H. Flowers -- both by shutout -- the Eagles can position themselves for an undefeated regular season with a victory. Both teams have been scoring plenty of points; a key matchup will be Roosevelt's tough defense against the Eagles' option-oriented offense.
A Big Challenge
With 13 teams in the 4A league and eight in the 3A/2A league, it was decided that each 3A/2A team would play one nonleague game against a 4A opponent. That schedule has Friendly playing at Oxon Hill on Saturday in a key game. The Clippers last season qualified for postseason play for the first time since 1996 and probably need to win out to have a chance to return to the playoffs.
Friendly is coming off its 6-0 victory over Potomac and needs every victory it can get in its bid to make the highly competitive Maryland 3A East Region playoffs, where undefeated Gwynn Park, Westlake and Chopticon seem on their way. . . .
Also this weekend is perhaps the Washington area's best private school rivalry, with DeMatha hosting Gonzaga on Saturday at Parkdale. Gonzaga (5-1, 3-0) enters on somewhat of a roll, averaging 43 points during a four-game winning streak. DeMatha has won the last three games in the series by a combined 68 to 3.
-- JOSH BARR