at Quince Orchard
Outlook: For two teams with high hopes of ending long playoff droughts -- Churchill (1-0, 1-0) has not been to the postseason since 1995, and Quince Orchard (1-0, 1-0) has been absent since 1993 -- tonight's Montgomery 4A West game is critical. Churchill defeated the Cougars, 7-3, last season in a game played in the mud.
at Seneca Valley
Outlook: One of the top rivalries in Montgomery County is renewed tonight in a nonleague game. Seneca Valley (1-0) leads the overall series between the perennial powers, 18-10, and defeated the Trojans last season, 22-0. This year's game is particularly critical for Gaithersburg (0-1), which lost, 14-13, to Churchill last week.
St. John's/Prospect Hall
Tonight, 7, at McCurdy Field
Outlook: Game matches two of the area's top small schools, both with prolific offenses. For Pallotti (2-0, 0-0 MIAA C Conference), WR Tim Jennings missed one game and played sparingly last week because of a sprained right knee, but hopes to play more tonight. Prospect Hall (1-0, 0-0) is led by QB Keith Ricca (on track to become the state's all-time leading passer later this month) and WR Max Morris.
Gonzaga at No. 16 Dunbar
Tomorrow, 11 a.m.
Outlook: The last time these two teams met was in 1995, when Gonzaga squeezed out a 20-14 victory. The Eagles (1-0) will have to find a way to contain an improving Dunbar offense led by sophomore QB Nate Bussey, who has completed 15 of 33 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns. The Crimson Tide (1-1) must contain senior RB Joe Taylor (282 rushing yards against Wilson last week).
No. 4 Good Counsel at
No. 12 Georgetown Prep
Tomorrow, 1 p.m.
Outlook: One year ago, Good Counsel (1-0) defeated then-No. 1 Georgetown Prep, 22-0, snapping the Little Hoyas' area-long 30-game winning streak. Many of Good Counsel's key players are back, including RB Jerron Pearson, QB Reggie Gooch and Deege and Tommy Galt, twins who have unofficially committed to Maryland. It's the season opener for Prep.
-- Compiled by Josh Barr, Tarik El-Bashir, Judith Evans and Jake Schaller