Five MPSSAA Football Games to Watch: Week 2

Calvert Hall vs. Wise

Wise, which has won two straight MPSSAA 4A state titles, squares off with private school powerhouse Calvert Hall this weekend.

Not only have the Pumas gotten to the top of Maryland's high school football mountain two years running, but Wise hasn't lost in the process. The Pumas have won their last 29 games, including a runaway 42-7 victory over Quince Orchard in the 2016 state title game.

Last year's group was hardly tested throughout the entire season- Wise's narrowest margin of victory came in the 4A South regional final against Eleanor Roosevelt, which the Pumas won 40-22. The team's offense eclipsed 40 points on 10 separate occasions, while the defense recorded eight shutouts.

This season started much of the same way for Wise. The Pumas beat Surrattsville 57-0 in Week 1.

In Calvert Hall, Wise has its first regular season opponent from outside of Prince George's County during its winning streak. Calvert Hall finished 7-5 last year, but expects to have a big season in 2017. The Cardinals are 2-0, and scored a lopsided win against a recent MPSSAA state finalist, Dundalk, last week, winning 42-7.

Wise hosts Calvert Hall this Friday at 7 PM.

Franklin vs. DeMatha

Another MPSSAA school faces a private school when Franklin travels to Hyattsville to tussle with DeMatha.

Franklin has high hopes for this season after returning a lot of players from a state finalist group in 2016. The Indians have reached the playoffs every season since 2011, and even won 3A state championships in 2013 and 2014. Franklin got its season off to a dream start last weekend with a 52-0 win over Woodlawn. It also doesn't get any easier for Franklin after facing DeMatha- next week the Indians travel to Delaware to face Smyrna, which has won two straight state titles.

DeMatha has won four straight WCAC titles and is expected to be in the mix for one again in 2017. The Stags are 1-1 this season, with the team's lone loss being a 35-23 decision on the road in Las Vegas against national powerhouse Bishop Gorman in Week 1. DeMatha picked up its first win of the season against Avalon this past weekend.

Kickoff for this contest is scheduled for Friday at 7:00 PM.

Sherwood vs. Damascus

Two Montgomery County team that enjoyed undefeated regular seasons in 2016 face each other in this contest.

Damascus has won two straight MPSSAA 3A state championships. The Hornets won't win the 3A title this year- the school now competes at the 2A level, though if Week 1 was any indication the team won't struggle to adjust. Damascus opened with a 41-17 victory over Blake, which was the first of eight opponents the Hornets will face that're in a larger classification.

Sherwood is one of those eight teams- the Warriors had an undefeated regular season and finished first in the 4A North region in 2016. The Warriors' season ended earlier than expected though, as the team was bounced in the first round of the state playoffs by Mervo. Sherwood, which last won a state title in 2008, also had a great start to 2017 with a 44-0 win over Magruder.

Sherwood travels to Damascus this Friday at 6:30 PM.

North Point vs. Westlake

This All-SMAC and Charles County contest features two teams that began 2017 brightly, and are just a five minutes drive from each other.

Few teams made as big a statement as North Point did in Week 1. The Eagles scored a dominant 42-0 win over Old Mill, which last missed the state playoffs in 1998. It was also the most points Old Mill had allowed in a game since 2012. North Point has not won a playoff game since 2011, despite qualifying the past three seasons. If last week was any indication, that streak could come to an end in 2017.

Westlake also enjoyed a fast start to 2017 by beating Friendly 32-6 this past Saturday. This isn't anything new for the Wolverines- the team jumped out to a 3-0 mark last season before finishing 5-5 and missing the playoffs. The start of the skid was in Week 4 against North Point, a contest the Eagles won 30-18. A key for the group was getting to 20 points- every game Westlake scored more than 20, it won, while in each loss the team didn't.

North Point and Westlake are set to kick off at 7:00 PM this Friday.

Bel Air vs. CH Flowers

Bel Air heads south from Harford County to Prince George's County to face off with CH Flowers this weekend.

The Bobcats put together a strong debut in 2017 by topping Overlea, a playoff team in 2016, 24-6. Bel Air started well last year too- the Bobcats did not lose a game until Week 7 against Aberdeen. The team slowed as the year went on however, losing three of its last five games to close out the season, including against Howard in the first round of the playoffs.

CH Flowers also began with a win last week by shutting out Patterson 30-0. The Jaguars endured an up and down season in 2016, at one point suffering through a four game win streak, but the team won its last three games in the regular season to reach the postseason. The team's defense was they key to the Jaguars' success- the group recorded five shutouts.

Kickoff for this contest is scheduled for this Saturday at 2 PM.
September 6th, 2017By: Wick Eisenberg

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