AAA NORTHERN REGION
Madison at No. 16 Oakton
Outlook: Oakton senior RB Keith Payne has owned the last two Outback Bowls, traditionally the opening game of the year for Vienna schools Oakton and Madison. Two years ago, Payne set up the winning field goal with a 56-yard reception. Last year, he led the Cougars to a 24-0 win with 126 yards on the ground.
Chantilly at Lake Braddock
Outlook: Lake Braddock opens its season having lost 10 straight games (the entire 2004 season) and 17 of 19 games dating from September 2003. Chantilly also was winless in 2004, but snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 10-0 victory over Annandale last week.
Stone Bridge at
Outlook: Both teams open their season tonight, but the debut is a little bigger for Stone Bridge. The Bulldogs, powers in Group AA over the past three seasons, are moving up to AAA and start against one of the region's stronger teams. Spartans senior Peter Lalich takes over as the full-time quarterback after throwing for five touchdowns while filling in last year after injuries knocked out the starter.
AAA NORTHWESTERN REGion
No. 6 Hylton at
No. 18 Stonewall Jackson
Outlook: The season opener is a rematch of the 2004 Northwestern Region Division 6 championship, won by Hylton, 28-21, in overtime, the Bulldogs' ninth straight win in the series. Stonewall Jackson sophomore RB Ryan Williams, who gained more than 1,000 offensive yards as a freshman, might miss the season with a knee injury. Hylton senior WR Marshall Dill totaled eight catches in two wins over the Raiders last year.
No. 2 DeMatha at Gilman
Outlook: The inexperienced Stags can gauge their talent level against a team that is arguably Baltimore's best. DeMatha (1-0) has beaten the Greyhounds in each of the last two seasons despite scoring 27 total points.
Whitman at Gaithersburg
Outlook: Gaithersburg missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 1996, but looks to recapture past success behind an experienced offensive line. Whitman FB Pat Lazear rushed for 897 yards last season.
Compiled by Liam Dillon, Judith Evans, Preston Williams and Rich Campbell.