The 2013 football season gets underway tonight with a nationally televised contest between two Maryland rivals, followed by a handful of private-school matchups on Saturday with plenty of intrigue.
Good Counsel vs. Gilman (at Towson University), 8:30 p.m. on ESPNews
As was the case last year, Good Counsel opens the season on the road and under the bright lights and cameras of ESPN. Though the Falcons lost a handful Football Bowl Subdivision players from last year’s top-ranked team in The Post, they remain loaded across the board, and especially in the trenches with OL Sam Mustipher and DL Jesse Aniebonam, who will announce his college decision during the telecast. Last season, Good Counsel narrowly defeated Gilman, 20-19, en route to an 11-game win streak and its fourth straight Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title.
Friendship Collegiate at Atlantic, 7 p.m.
Friendship will begin its gauntlet of a schedule with a trip to Florida to take on an Atlantic squad that went 8-3 last season. The matchup to watch will be blue-chip Knights DB Jalen Tabor in coverage against highly touted Atlantic WR Adly Enoicy.
O’Connell at McDonogh, 2 p.m.
O’Connell Coach Del Smith enters his second season with momentum to build on and 15 returning starters. Senior RB/DB and Boston College commit Kamrin Moore will anchor the Knights’ offensive and defensive attacks while WR/DB Marquis Rowe could be a key factor in registering a season-opening win. McDonogh features OL Jared Cohen, who has committed to Maryland.
Calvert Hall at St. John’s, 12 p.m.
St. John’s faces a daunting opponent in Calvert Hall, which has defeated the Cadets in each of the last three seasons. With his dual-threat ability, St. John’s senior QB and Maryland commit Will Ulmer will serve as the spark for the Cadets, who are looking to build momentum for a run at the WCAC crown.
DeMatha at Phoebus, 5 p.m.
Private and public school powers will clash in this intriguing first-week matchup. DeMatha will need a strong effort from its nine returning defensive starters to slow Phoebus RB Marshawn Williams.
Gonzaga at Charlotte Catholic, 7 p.m.
With both teams featuring explosive offensive playmakers, this contest could turn into a shootout. Gonzaga will be led by RB Robbie Walker, whose shifty moves and speed make him tough to tackle. Meantime, Charlotte Catholic features one of the nation’s top rushers in Elijah Hood, who decommitted from Notre Dame this week.