A primer for 'Big Friday'

September 03, 2004|by MARK KELLER

High school football season kicks into high gear this weekend with 20 games involving area teams, including 17 games tonight.

Here's a quick glance at some things to look for during the first big weekend for the prep teams:

Streaks on the line

Three teams have active double-digit regular season winning streaks: Martinsburg (23 games) plays a tough Riverside team; Maryland School for the Deaf (14 games) plays Elkton Christian, which will be playing its first varsity game; and North Hagerstown (10 games) plays Beall at School Stadium.

There are also several long losing streaks still active: James Buchanan (nine games) plays host to Greencastle-Antrim; Jefferson (18 games) travels to Sherando; Thomas Johnson (nine games) welcomes Aberdeen; Waynesboro (16 games) goes to Camp Hill; and Chambersburg (nine games) plays at Harrisburg on Saturday.

Diving into the pool

Two local schools will play their first varsity games this weekend: Clear Spring (which actually fielded a team in the early 20th century that was not completely a high school squad) travels to Northern Garrett tonight, while Tuscarora is home for perennial powerhouse Urbana on Saturday.

The gunslingers

The top five quarterbacks (in passing yards) last season are all back this year and figure to improve on last year's numbers: Keith Ricca (St. John's at Prospect Hall), Nate Sowers (Martinsburg), Blake Border (Greencastle-Antrim), Dave Berry (Walkersville) and Cory Rhodes (Frederick), who missed part of last season with an injury.

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