2A South Region


Kickoff: 7 p.m. tomorrow

To the Winner: A spot in next week's region final against the winner of Saturday's game between Potomac (8-2) and Glenelg (6-3).

How Atholton Got Here: After a 2-3 start, Atholton finished the regular season on a five-game winning streak to earn the region's top seed and its first playoff appearance since 1985.

How McDonough Got Here: The Rams split their first four games, won four straight, and then fell to Calvert and Lackey. McDonough has made the playoffs the past two years but hasn't won a postseason game since 1991.

Key Matchup

Atholton RB Matt Winger vs. McDonough RB A.J. Wallace

Wallace, the area's third-leading rusher, has 1,883 yards and 24 touchdowns on the season and at least 300 yards in three of the past four games. It will be up to Atholton's defensive line to contain Wallace and create openings that give junior linebackers Matt Lewis and Tochi Odochi paths to the ballcarrier. If Wallace gets in the open field, the Raiders' stay in the playoffs won't last very long.

Winger is the area's fifth-leading rusher. If he can rush for at least 100 yards, as he has done in each of the past seven games, it will force the Rams to crowd the line of scrimmage, which should open the Raiders' passing game. Atholton's defense has allowed 13.8 points per game during its five-game winning streak, and McDonough has given up an average of 41.7 points the past four games.