Some of the top games in the Washington area this season:
Patuxent at Huntingtown, 7: The Panthers visit Calvert County's new school,
which already has a combined 137 players from the freshman to varsity team. Huntingtown will be coached by Jerry Franks, the 2000 All-Met coach of the year; Jim Esposito -- Patuxent's coach from 1997 to 2001 -- is an assistant.
Linganore at Damascus, 6:30: Last year's Maryland 3A champion visits the defending 4A champ. Enough said.
Hylton at Osbourn Park, 7:30: Osbourn Park is 0-14 in the series but led in the fourth quarter of both losses to Hylton last year. Four of Osbourn Park's five losses the last two seasons have been to the Bulldogs, including in the past two Virginia AAA Northwestern Region Division 6 championships.
Gonzaga at Georgetown Prep, 1: First meeting between the Jesuit schools since 1988, which was a 14-14 tie. Teams were scheduled to play last fall, but scheduling complications after Hurricane Isabel forced the schools to call it off. Tickets will only be sold in advance; for information see www. jesuitgridironclassic.org. Also, D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association favorite Dunbar hosts Washington Catholic Athletic Conference favorite DeMatha at 1 p.m. If there were a football City Title game, this likely would be it.
Eleanor Roosevelt at C.H. Flowers, 3: The Raiders won both meetings last season (41-0 in the regular season and 40-20 in the playoffs) and are 4-0 all-time against Prince George's County's newest school, but speedy C.H. Flowers has enough talent back to make things more interesting this fall.
Mount Vernon at Yorktown, 7:30: Game between two teams that made the playoffs out of the Virginia AAA National District last year; this meeting could decide the district champion this fall. Fans in Maryland may be interested in seeing Damascus play at Northwest at 6:30.
Manassas Park at Strasburg, 7:30: Manassas Park won, 48-0, last season en route to the first 10-0 regular season in school history, only the second time the Cougars had toppled their Virginia A Bull Run District rivals since the late 1980s. Strasburg was the only team to beat Manassas Park during the 2002 regular season. The next day, Landon hosts Georgetown Prep at 1 p.m. in a game that likely will decide the Interstate Athletic Conference title.
DeMatha at Good Counsel, 7: Two of the Washington area's legendary coaches (DeMatha's Bill McGregor and Good Counsel's Bob Milloy) square off in a much-anticipated showdown between WCAC favorites). In Virginia, AAA Division 6 defending champion Westfield hosts rival Centreville in what should be a power-point bonanza.
Potomac (Md.) at Forestville, 2: Expect plenty of offense from these Prince George's 3A/2A league teams; they combined for 77 points in regular season meeting last year. Potomac features WR Korey Coles, Forestville counters with WR Jermaine Lindsay.
Seneca Valley at Northwest, 6:30: This matchup of Germantown rivals pits a new coach at tradition-laden Seneca Valley, Fred Kim, against the talent-laden Jaguars. Northwest is expected to have at least
three Division I-A recruits, including QB Ike Whitaker. The next day, Gwynn Park visits Douglass at 2 p.m. in a key Prince George's 3A/2A game.
Lackey at Westlake, 7: Two Southern Maryland Athletic Conference powers could be 9-0 when they meet in the regular season finale. Lackey won the regular season meeting last year at home, 21-7, to win its first SMAC title in 15 years, then two weeks later won, 14-13, in a road playoff game. The next day, Frederick County's grudge match pits Linganore at Urbana at 2 p.m.
Episcopal at Woodberry Forest, 2: Woodberry Forest leads the series in the longest continuous rivalry between prep schools in the South, 50-45-8. Also, Maryland public schools begin their playoffs this weekend while Virginia public schools conclude their regular season.