Saturday, 7:30

Tough Tuneups

Nobody can accuse No. 2 Hylton or No. 11 Dunbar (1-1-1) of scheduling cupcake nonleague games. The Bulldogs' two wins have come against Virginia playoff team Petersburg, 19-15, and defending Maryland 3A champion Friendly, 30-6. They also will host No. 18 Oakton on Oct. 15.

"We've had our hands full from Day One," Hylton Coach Bill Brown said. "It usually does [help] playing Petersburg, Friendly and Dunbar because the speed of those games is very fast. If you play at that speed, it carries over to the district."

Dunbar played defending WCAC champion and fourth-ranked DeMatha to a lightning-shortened 14-14 draw and fell, 38-14, to nationally ranked St. Ignatius of Ohio.

"It's either sink or swim," Dunbar Coach Craig Jefferies said. "[The schedule] has raised our level of play. If we keep playing at the level we're playing against these out-of-town opponents, maybe it'll raise the level of our conference as well."


Saturday, 2

Opportunity Knocks

One team should walk off the field feeling good. Kennedy (0-2) has lost 20 straight, dating from Sept. 13, 1997, when it defeated Blair, 12-3. Blake is playing its first year of varsity football, has no seniors and has been outscored 80-0 in two defeats.

Last season, Kennedy went 0-10 and provided Northwest, then a first-year program, with its inaugural win, 35-6. Blake posted an 8-1 record playing a junior varsity schedule, but is quickly finding out the next level is much different.

"I didn't think it would be this bad," Blake Coach Marv Garlick said. "I knew there'd be a huge jump from junior varsity to varsity. We didn't have a good turnout in the weight room in the offseason because the kids thought there would be some carryover. There isn't."


Tonight, 7:30

Drawing the Lines

No. 15 Wilde Lake's three senior standout defensive linemen will need to stop Howard's three-pronged rushing attack to extend their team's 31-game Howard County winning streak.

The offensive and defensive lines for the Wildecats (2-0) are anchored by Steven Jefferson (6-3, 225), Emmanuel Glover (6-5, 305) and Geneo Colston (6-3, 304).

"Those three really open a lot of holes for us offensively and close a lot of them defensively," Wilde Lake Coach Doug DuVall said.

Howard (2-0) is led by running backs Gerald Smith, Travis Irving and Antuan Jones. Smith, who has unofficially committed to Penn State, has a high ankle sprain but will play. Jones returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown in last week's 19-7 victory over Mount Hebron.