J.J. Mont loves the geometry of football. The angles and the planes of the passes and the receivers' routes come together in synchronicity for him on the field.

"I can put balls in the right place, thread the needle," Mont said. "A lot of it comes second nature."

The graduate of Hayfield High is not a math major, but he does have a knack for numbers on and off the field. Last season, the finance major threw for 2,712 yards and 26 touchdowns, rewriting the Georgetown record book. This summer, he worked as an intern on Wall Street with Credit Suisse First Boston.

"Football has always been my dream," Mont said. "But if that doesn't work out, I'm set."

Georgetown

1998 result: 9-2 (6-1, second in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference).

Coach: Bob Benson, seventh season (39-20).

Tickets: Admission is free.

Players.

Players to watch:

WR Gharun Hester, Jr. (Friendly, first-team all-MAAC)

S Brian Dwyer, Sr. (85 tackles)

DB Jim Gallagher, Sr. (6 INTs)

DE Paul Miller, Sr. (7 sacks)

DT Matt Sollitto, Sr.

S Ryan O'Donoghue, Jr.

DE Craig Thornton, Sr.

Top players lost:

LB Mike Melchionda (first-team all-MAAC)

FS Anthony Bartolomeo (first-team all-MAAC)

DE Mike Halen (6 sacks)

WR Matt Mattimore (804 yards, 6 TDs)

Top newcomers:

TB David Baker, Fr.

WR O.J. Johnson, Fr. (St. Albans, transfer from Virginia)

LB Joe O'Connell, Jr. (transfer from N. Carolina)

OL Justin Droms, Fr. (Gonzaga)

DE John Hallmark, Fr. (Stuart)

Outlook.

Coming off their best season since 1925, when they went 9-1, the Hoyas return nine of 11 offensive starters -- four of whom were first-team all-MAAC. The leader of the offense is quarterback J.J. Mont, who earned his starting job last season after appearing in just four games in 1997. Mont, at 6-3, 195 pounds, is extremely agile and possesses a strong arm. In addition to setting several single-season school passing records, he set single-game school records for passing yards (401 yards against Iona) and attempts (65 against Fordham). For the season, Hester caught 57 passes for 921 yards. A team strength will be the offensive line, led by all-MAAC selections C Robert Quigley, G Scott Wolfe and G Kevin Merse. The defense has seven starters back from a group that ranked third in Division I-AA in pass efficiency defense and 11th in scoring defense (14.8 points allowed per game). The Hoyas, who won the conference title in 1997, are picked by the MAAC's coaches to finish second for the third time in four years. However, defending conference champion Fairfield is on probation for violating the conference's financial rules and therefore ineligible for the MAAC title. That leaves Georgetown looking like the preseason conference favorite.

Schedule.

September

11 at Holy Cross, 1

18 Siena, noon

25 St. John's, noon

October

2 at Iona, 1

9 at Marist, 1

16 Davidson, noon

23 at St. Peter's, 3

30 Fairfield, noon

November

6 Duquesne, noon

13 at Canisius, 1:30

20 La Salle, noon

Bowie State

1998 result: 6-3 (4-3, fourth in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association).

Coach: Henry Frazier, first season.

Tickets: 301-464-6683.

Players.

Players to watch:

CB Rod Williams, Sr. (second-team all-CIAA)

RB Ray Hawkins, Sr. (641 yards on 127 carries)

WR Tiquon Murry, Sr. (23.5 yards per kickoff return)

LB Sonny Pritchett, Sr. (23 tackles, preseason all-CIAA)

Top players lost:

DT Mike Cox (all-South Atlantic Region first team, led Bowie State with 76 tackles)

LB Lorenzo Carter

LB Lorenzo Harrison

Top newcomers:

WR Duan Jones, Soph. (Eleanor Roosevelt, transfer from Maryland)

DB Kelvin Hemsley, Fr. (Oxon Hill)

LB Valiant Washington, Jr. (transfer from Montgomery-Rockville)

Outlook.

Frazier takes over from Sherman Wood, who left for Salisbury State after six seasons at Bowie State. Once a starting quarterback for the Bulldogs, Frazier has a history of success at Bowie State. As a senior in 1989, he helped lead the team to a CIAA championship; since then, the Bulldogs have had one winning season -- last year. During the past five years, Frazier has coached at Central High, compiling a 20-30 record. He inherits a team that lost 11 starters, seven from a defense that was 10th in Division II in scoring defense last season (14 points per game).

The team's strength should be the offensive line, which returns five starters who average 6-2 and 288 pounds. They should provide running room for Hawkins, who is healthy after playing all last season with a torn meniscus in his knee. Three quarterbacks -- Jimmy Whitehead, William Mack and Joe Cannady -- are contending for the starting job. Whitehead had the most passing attempts last season (164, of which he completed 64), but he threw eight interceptions along with his seven touchdowns. Mack completed 42 of 84 passes for 422 yards, two touchdowns and seven interceptions. Cannady played in only three games last season, attempting 12 passes. He completed six, one of which was an interception. He ran for one touchdown.

Schedule.

September

4 Cheyney, 1

11 at Millersville, 1

18 at J. C. Smith, 6

25 Livingstone, 1

October

2 at Va. Union, 7

16 at Elizabeth City St., 1:30

23 N.C. Central, 1

30 Fayetteville St., 1

November

6 at Va. State, 1

Catholic

1998 result: 10-1 (lost in first round of NCAA Division III playoffs).

Coach: Tom Clark, sixth season (41-8-1).

Radio: WCUA-FM-97.5.

Tickets: 202-319-5286.

Players.

Players to watch:

RB Andrew Notarfrancesco, Sr. (281 carries, 1,279 yards rushing, 20 TDs)

QB Derek McGee, Soph. (ECAC Division III Southern Region rookie of the year)

WR Mike Hunter, Sr. (1,279 yards, 12 TDs)

LB Brian Hee, Sr. (led team with 73 tackles)

Top players lost:

LB Mike Cowan (64 tackles)

T Brian Miller (invited to Aztec Bowl all-star game)

FS Andrew Reger (3 INTs)

Top newcomers:

WR Jim Jankiewicz, Fr.

WR Brian Gallagher, Soph. (Gonzaga, transfer from Lafayette)

OL Justin McCarty, Fr. (Georgetown Prep)

Outlook.

After 15 seasons as an independent, the Cardinals rejoin the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The last two seasons Catholic breezed through its regular schedule undefeated only to lose in the first round of the Division III playoffs. The Cardinals return the main components of their offense, which averaged 36.4 points per game. McGee, a sophomore, who started every game last season, completed 135 of 260 passes for 1,732 yards and 16 touchdowns. His prime target was Hunter, who was third nationally with 7.9 catches per game. Notarfrancesco became the only back in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. The biggest concerns are on defense, which lost six starters. However, Hee and DE Richard Change (6A sacks) should provide steady leadership until the unit develops. For the first time, the American Football Coaches Association will publish a national Division III top 25 coaches' poll. Previously a regional poll conducted by the NCAA ranked teams for consideration for the 16-team playoffs. The coaches' poll debuts Sept. 14. There are 45 voters -- two from each of the conferences with automatic playoff bids (30 voters), one from each of the remaining conferences (11 voters) and four voters from independent schools. Also this season, the playoffs have been expanded to 28 teams.

Schedule.

September

4 John Carroll, 1

11 Franklin & Marshall, 1

18 at Newport News Apprentice, 1:30

October

2 at Salisbury St., 1

9 Rand.-Macon, 1

16 Methodist 1

23 Hampden-Sydney, 1

30 Emory & Henry, 1

November

6 at Guilford, 1

13 at Bridgewater, 1

Montgomery-Rockville

1998 result: 5-5.

Coach: Phil Martin, 18th season (112-50-9).

Tickets: 301-251-7575.

Players.

Players to watch:

DE Chris Earhardt, Soph. (Brentsville)

DT Channing Reed, Soph.

T Steve Osborne, Soph. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

CB Ray Butler, Soph. (Blair)

Top players lost:

LB Jeff Whitney (to Maine)

RB Maurice Hicks (to North Carolina A&T)

DE Cortez McNeil (to West Virginia)

CB Mike Brown (to Charleston Southern)

Top newcomers:

QB Pat Cilento, Fr. (Sherwood), LB B.J. Brooks, Fr.

Outlook.

After switching from the run-and-shoot offense to the wishbone last season, Martin has changed the system again. The Fighting Knights will use a multiple offense, with Cilento starting at quarterback. Martin is pleased with his depth at fullback and along the defensive line but is concerned about his linebackers, just one of whom is a sophomore. But there is plenty of experience overall in the defense, which may have to carry the team until Cilento adjusts to the college game. Martin wanted more junior college teams on the schedule, so he added Cayuga and Morrisville in place of the Navy and Rutgers junior varsity teams.

Schedule.

September

4 Walter Reed Army, 1:30

11 at Cayuga JC, 1:30

19 Towson State JV, 1:30

26 at Frostburg State JV, 1:30

October

2 at Nassau CC, 1:30

9 Middle Georgia JC, 1:30

15 Fork Union Prep, 1:30

23 at Potomac State JC, 1:30

30 at Hargrave Prep, 2

November

6 Morrisville JC, 1:30