Coach Paul Friel wasn’t quite sure who Juwann Briscoe was the first day he showed up for Thomas Stone football preseason.

Friel is from Bowie and returned to Maryland in 2012 after six years of coaching in Gainesville, Ga., but that was the year Briscoe sat out from football after starting his freshman year. Now the 300-meter state indoor track finalist is back as the starting running back and leading the 2-1 Cougars with 216 rushing yards.

Thomas Stone comes off a 17-13 loss to Leonardtown in Week 3 that sent quarterback Keiron Morsell to the sideline with an ankle sprain in the third quarter. Junior Trey Lee stepped in as backup and the two have split practice time this week, but Friel would prefer for Lee to focus on his defensive assignments as a safety.

“Keiron was looking a little rusty, but then started looking like his old self,” Friel said of Wednesday’s practice. “If he still looks good on the ankle, that will make Friday a lot easier.”

Stone travels to North Point this weekend to meet running back Marquel Dickerson (75 carries, 706 yards and eight touchdowns) and the Eagles (1-2).

“He’s pretty fast and runs well and tends to find something when there’s not much there,” Friel said of Dickerson. “We’ve just been focusing on what we do defensively, and playing to take away their best plays.”

The Cougars opponent from last week, Leonardtown (3-0), hosts Huntingtown, one of two other undefeated SMAC teams (Patuxent is also 3-0 and will travel to Queen Anne’s County). The Raiders will have to contend against a trio of strong juniors: linebacker Brian McCourt (16 tackles against McDonough and Calvert), running back DeShawn Freeland (45 carries for 267 yards and four touchdowns) and quarterback Robbie Payne (21-46 for 273 yards this season).

Two of the conference’s three winless teams will meet at Chopticon (0-3). Great Mills (0-3) comes off its first touchdowns of the season against Riverdale Baptist and the Braves lost at Northern last week in a 102-point game. Chopticon scored three touchdowns in the last 2 minutes, 7 seconds in a 54-48 loss.

In other conference meetings, McDonough hosts Northern (2-1) and looks for its first win of the season, Lackey (2-1) travels to Calvert (1-2), and La Plata (1-2) hosts and Westlake (2-1).

Glenelg looks to shut down unbeaten Golden Bears

Glenelg hosts an upstart Hammond team this weekend and will look to senior running back Jared Jacoby and wide receiver David Brookhart to put the Gladiators on the board. Glenelg lost a close opening game to River Hill and rebounded with two consecutive wins against Wilde Lake and Reservoir. Quarterback Tyler Martin went 6 for 11 with 121 yards last week for the undefeated Golden Bears and Hammond had a 23-point second half to beat Oakland Mills, 30-14. Coach Butch Schaffer says the Gladiators expect a talented, well-coached opponent for Week 4.

“We’ve played three very difficult, very physical football teams,” Schaffer said. “We expect Hammond to be the same way. We’ll continue to prevent the big play — that’s always our issue.”

Glenelg is led by a group of 20 seniors including Jacoby, Brookhart and offensive guard David Robbins. . . .

Unbeaten Centennial travels to No. 6 River Hill and looks to snap the Hawks’ 27-game win streak behind the speed of running back Walter Fletcher. The senior has 77 carries for 565 yards and nine touchdowns in three games for the Eagles. The Hawks scored 56 unanswered points when the teams met last September.

Elsewhere in Howard, Mount Hebron looks for its first win of the season at Howard (3-0), Reservoir (1-2) travels to Oakland Mills (1-2), Marriotts Ridge and Wilde Lake both look for their first wins in Marriottsville, and Atholton will play for its first victory at Long Reach (1-2).