McNamara football Coach Frank Neitzey isn't talking much these days.
"Call me Nov. 17 (the day after the season ends) and we'll talk a long time about anything," Neitzey said. "We have some tough football games to play and we're not saying too much."
What Neitzey will say is that Saturday's 1:30 Metro Conference game against visiting fifth-ranked DeMatha (6-0) will be an important step for his second-ranked Mustangs (6-0).
"No, the winner doesn't have a clear road (to the conference title) by any means, but the winner of this game will be in good position," he said. "Our games have always been close and I don't expect this one to be any different."
Both teams still have to play No. 1 Archbishop Carroll (6-0), so neither can afford to get cocky. Both coaches have emphasized this to their players.
"I don't think we have any surprises for each other," Neitzey said. "Both of us will go out and just try to execute what we do best: Stay away from turnovers and try to play that error-free game.
"Right now, we're playing very well. We didn't have any turnovers for the second straight week (in beating O'Connell, 45-0, last week) and we executed very well. We can score a lot of different ways, making it tougher for teams to defense us. Our defense has also played very well."
Neitzey likes to talk about his offense, particularly the running of seniors Durwin Greggs (660 yards, nine touchdowns) and John McDaniels (three touchdowns). Junior quarterback Ron Brown also is a fine runner and has thrown nine touchdown passes, four to end Vance Phillips.
"McDaniels has been hurt off and on the last two years and is just now finally beginning to play well for us," Neitzey said. "We throw about 10-12 times a game, while DeMatha throws twice that much. (DeMatha's Chris) Baucia is a college quarterback with a super arm. He throws sideline to sideline with accuracy. They have two good backs and a big line. They are bigger than we are."
McNamara, which has four consecutive shutouts and has allowed only 20 points this year, will rely on linebackers Chris Maruca, Tom Lee and Tom Connelly and lineman Joe Hall to stop the Stags.
The consistent performances of backs Tyrone Jackson (12 touchdowns), Greg Steed (seven touchdowns) and Baucia (four touchdown passes) have enabled DeMatha to score 188 points.
DeMatha wasn't very sharp in last week's 19-6 victory over St. John's. But the Stags, 34-3 over the past 3 1/2 seasons, usually play well in big games.
In the key game tonight in Virginia, 10th-ranked Osbourn Park (5-1) plays host to Potomac (5-1) in a Commonwealth District game at 8. The team that wins will remain in contention for the title. Osbourn Park relies on the running of Victor Cahoon and Thomas Keith, whereas Potomac has depended on its defense.
In other games tonight at 8, eighth-ranked West Potomac (7-0) plays host to Edison (4-2-1) in a Gunston District game; sixth-ranked Mount Vernon (6-0) visits Hayfield (2-2-2); ninth-ranked T.C. Williams (5-1) plays at West Springfield (3-3), and Langley (2-3-1) is home against No. 4 Herndon (6-0).