No. 2 Northwest
at Quince Orchard
Outlook: Northwest (7-0) averages 43.7 points (tied for second best in the area), thanks to a powerful offense led by QB Ike Whitaker (62 of 104, 1,097 yards, 17 TDs, 3 INTs), RB Tony Nelson (88 carries, 792 yards, 13 TDs) and WR Darren Brownlee (19 catches, 307 yards, 5 TDs). But Quince Orchard (6-1) has a fast, physical defense eager to make up for last season's 42-21 loss to Northwest in which it yielded 507 yards of offense.
Blake at Sherwood
Outlook: This Montgomery 4A East Division game is a must-win for both teams as the loser will find itself on the outside of the playoff race. Sherwood (5-2, 3-1) has injury problems, but its passing game, led by sophomore QB Deontay Twyman, will keep it in games. Blake (5-2, 3-2), which never has made the playoffs, lost to Sherwood, 27-9, last year.
Outlook: Both teams have four-game winning streaks that have put them in position for Maryland 4A South Region playoff berths. Additions of QB Nico Scott and RB Malcolm Banks make QB-WR Derrick Williams more dangerous, but the Raiders (5-2, 5-1 Prince George's 4A) will be tested by the Wildcats (4-2, 4-1), who have allowed 7.8 points per game during their winning streak.
at River Hill
Outlook: The winner of this Howard County game between undefeated teams takes a major step toward securing the county title and a berth in the Maryland 3A East Region playoffs. River Hill (7-0 overall, 6-0 league) has one of the county's most balanced offenses, led by senior quarterback Ben Hostetler (790 yards passing, 11 TDs, 2 INTs) and senior running back Tyler Martin (733 yards rushing, 7 TDs). Long Reach (7-0, 7-0) counters with a defense that allows an average of 8.4 points per game and has three shutouts.
Tomorrow, 2:30, at Eastern H.S.
Outlook: The Falcons (7-0, 4-0 WCAC) ascended to No. 1 in the rankings for the first time in the Wheaton school's history after snapping DeMatha's 17-game winning streak, 31-21, last week. Three-time conference finalist Gonzaga (6-1, 3-1), meantime, is coming off a one-point victory over winless O'Connell. Playoff seeding is at stake, with both teams headed for the postseason, where a year ago the Eagles ended the Falcons' season, 28-21, in the semifinals.
Compiled by Josh Barr, Tarik El-Bashir, Jon Gallo and Jake Schaller