Old Mill at Arundel
Outlook: After a 7-4 campaign last fall, Arundel hopes to start its season right -- and needs to contain Old Mill senior RB Ryan Callahan (2,303 yards, 36 touchdowns last season) to do so. Senior QB Kyle Sumpter has looked good in the preseason and will get his first start at Arundel. Old Mill was 10-2 last season, including two wins over Arundel (49-28 and 29-16).
MONTGOMERY 4A WEST
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. The Trojans will have their hands full with Whitman junior FB Pat Lazear. The bruising fullback rushed for 897 yards and four touchdowns last season.
Northern at No. 11 Westlake
Outlook: Led by the senior backfield of Aaris Reed (committed to UNC) and Pha'Terrell Washington (Maryland), Westlake might have its most explosive team yet. Northern was 8-2 last year and is the only Southern Maryland Athletic Conference team to win at least seven games each of the past three seasons.
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. Stags QB Marc Poblador will face a defense featuring DEs Barney Ehrmann (6 feet 5, 220 pounds) and Reggie Fugett (6-6, 245).
Brunswick at Poolesville
Outlook: Frederick County's Brunswick (5-5 last year) will look to senior RB Eric Zwilsky and senior QB Aaron Main, who combined for 2,500 yards of total offense last season. Montgomery County's Poolesville, which has qualified for the 1A playoffs in each of the past two seasons, will counter with junior QB Chris Ray, who combined for 1,500 yards rushing and passing during last fall's 11-1 campaign.
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. Stonewall Jackson RB Ryan Williams, who gained more than 1,000 yards in 2004, might miss the season with a knee injury.
Compiled by Daniel Lyght, Andrew Levine, Alan Goldenbach, Rich Campbell, Preston Williams and Jon Gallo.