Wilson (3-7) at Dunbar (5-3-1)
Today, 2:30: Teams normally try to schedule weak opponents for their homecoming games, and Dunbar's opponent for its homecoming today has a 3-7 record. But the Tigers are tied with the defending D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association West Division champion with 3-0 league records. The winner wins the division title. Both teams have qualified for the DCIAA playoffs.
Lake Braddock (9-0) at Robinson (8-1)
Tonight, 7:30: No. 7 Lake Braddock (5-0 in Virginia AAA Patriot District) can clinch the district title and top seed with a victory. A victory by the Burke school will almost certainly set up a first-round playoff rematch with Robinson next week. Robinson (4-1) has qualified for the playoffs and can win the district's automatic berth with a victory.
The Bruins' defense has yielded 61 points this season (6.7 points per game), the lowest among area Group AAA schools. But strong defense is nothing new for Lake Braddock: The Bruins have not given up more than 120 points in a regular season this decade.
Watkins Mill (8-1) at Magruder (6-3)
Tonight, 6:30: Watkins Mill Coach Ken Brace said his team closely resembles Magruder, though they differ in one significant area. Watkins Mill has clinched a state playoff berth. Magruder (5-3) needs a victory tonight and some help to get in. The Colonels are behind Old Mill and Northwestern in the race for the final playoff berth.
"We both run the same defense and we both use the Wing-T for a lot of our offense," Brace said. "Basically our teams are very similar."
Howard (8-1) at River Hill (7-2)
Saturday, 1:30: Officially, there is a lot at stake for both teams. With a victory, Howard (7-1 in Howard County) would clinch its first 2A playoff berth since 1993 and at least a share of its first county title. Currently Howard is tied for first place with three-time defending champion Wilde Lake. River Hill (6-2) needs a victory to keep its hopes of making the 3A playoffs alive.
But Howard Coach Vince Parnell said the team is equally motivated about a possible unofficial result on Saturday. If the Lions win, he believes they would be the unofficial county champion because of a 33-14 victory over Wilde Lake earlier this season.
"We figure if we win, we have to be the best county team since we beat Wilde Lake head-to-head," Parnell said. "With that and all the playoff implications, this is the biggest game we have played in 20 years."