Week 8 MoCo High School Football Preview & Predictions (MCPS)

This week’s matchups offer a blend of history and rivalries!

Quince Orchard (7-0) at Northwest (6-1): Battle of Rivals- Friday night lights will blaze as the undefeated Quince Orchard Cougars prepare to face the once-mighty Northwest Jaguars, now looking rather vulnerable. Last week’s stumble against Churchill showcased Northwest’s weaknesses, leaving them in a precarious position. However, in the world of high school football, history often repeats itself. A decade ago, an underdog Northwest team, fresh off a narrow defeat to Clarksburg, ambushed the then-undefeated Cougars to steal their championship dreams. Could history favor the Jaguars again?

Antonio Berry, a force to be reckoned with, has the potential to ignite the Jaguar offense, while David Davis stands ready to test the Cougars’ defensive mettle. Quince Orchard’s running game hasn’t been as dominant against strong defenses, but the exceptional quarterback play has compensated. However, a patchy offense and complacency from their previous win could tip the scales in favor of the Jaguars. But, let’s not forget that Northwest has grappled with inconsistency in recent weeks. The last time they won against Quince Orchard at home was in 2006. Can they engineer a similar miracle on Friday night? The Cougars, with a perfect season at stake, stand ready to pounce. Prediction: Quince Orchard by 18.

Walter Johnson (7-0) at Sherwood (5-2): Clash in Olney- In what promises to be a defining matchup, the undefeated Walter Johnson Wildcats will lock horns with the formidable Sherwood Warriors. This marks the first meeting between the two teams in the 21st century, setting the stage for a showdown with significant playoff implications. Sherwood has bolstered their passing game by promoting freshman Matthew Larsen from JV, but they’ll still heavily rely on Van Mahoney to pierce through the Wildcats’ staunch defense. Meanwhile, Walter Johnson boasts a dual-threat ground game that will pose a challenge for Sherwood’s defense. As we await this epic confrontation, it’s clear that both teams are on the cusp of greatness. Can Walter Johnson extend their perfect streak, or will Sherwood emerge as the dark horse of the season? Prediction: Walter Johnson by 16.

Damascus (5-2) at Seneca Valley (3-4): Rivalry Renewed- A once-dominant rivalry has evolved since the pandemic, now featuring two teams aiming to regain their former glory. Damascus, seeking the top seed in the 2A West, squares off against Seneca Valley, intent on avoiding their fourth losing season in history. Expect a gritty slugfest, as both schools possess the talent and determination to compete fiercely. Michael Cooley is poised to make significant plays on both sides of the ball for Damascus, while Seneca Valley is desperate to upset their archrivals. In a clash where pride is on the line, Damascus holds the edge. Prediction: Damascus by 3.

Whitman (4-3) at BCC (4-3): Rivalry Renewed- Two teams riding high after recent victories will collide in this spirited rivalry match. BCC is eager to secure a signature win, potentially sealing the 2 seed in the 4A North, while Whitman aims to secure the highest possible seed in their region. This promises to be a highly competitive game, with Whitman giving it their all. However, BCC’s steadfast defense has shone throughout the season, making them favorites to contain the Vikings. The Barons look to maintain their impressive defensive record and clinch a critical win in this fierce showdown. Prediction: BCC by 10.

Churchill (6-1) at Richard Montgomery (3-4): David vs. Goliath- Churchill’s remarkable season has been the talk of the town, but Richard Montgomery, determined to play spoiler, stands in their way. The Rockets possess the potential to challenge an unprepared opponent. However, Churchill, aware of the danger, is unlikely to underestimate their opponents. David Avit is poised for another standout performance. As Richard Montgomery strives for an upset, Churchill, with their eyes on a championship, remains the favorite. Prediction: Churchill by 18.

Blair (2-5) at Paint Branch (3-4): Mental Toughness Matters- In a matchup where talent and strategy may take a backseat to mental toughness, Blair and Paint Branch collide in a battle for pride and a home game in Week 10. Both teams have shown resilience, keeping games competitive and making the outcome uncertain. Blair’s tenacity, demonstrated by close matches with strong opponents, and Paint Branch’s improvements, despite key injuries, hint at an unpredictable clash. Mental fortitude will likely be the decisive factor. Prediction: Blair by 2.

Rockville (2-5) at Gaithersburg (6-1): Trojans Aim High- Fresh off an impressive victory over Seneca Valley, the Gaithersburg Trojans aim for the 2 or 3 seed in the West as they face the spirited Rockville Rams. Gaithersburg’s Gideon Ituka has been a force to be reckoned with, and Rockville may struggle to contain him. Prediction: Gaithersburg by 27.

Blake (7-0) at Northwood (0-7): Blake’s Breather Following their latest victory, the undefeated Blake Bengals look to stay healthy as they face the winless Northwood Gladiators. This game seems like a respite for Blake. Prediction: Blake by 45.

Magruder (4-3) at Wootton (4-3): Seeding Battle- A significant battle for seeding in the 4A/3A West unfolds as Magruder faces Wootton. These evenly matched teams are ready for a slugfest, with Magruder seeking revenge for last year’s early exit. Expect a contest driven by strong defenses. Prediction: Wootton by 8.

Einstein (4-3) at Wheaton (1-6): Titans look for the 3 Seed- Einstein, consistent and reliable, looks to secure their fifth winning season in the last seven years as they face Wheaton. The race for playoff seeding is on. Prediction: Einstein by 27.

Poolesville (0-7) at Clarksburg (2-5): Seeking That Elusive Win- Poolesville, winless but showing signs of improvement, faces Clarksburg in a game with potential for an upset. Clarksburg is looking for their third win, but Poolesville might finally put it all together and clinch their first victory. Prediction: Poolesville by 7.

Kennedy (0-7) at Springbrook (1-6): Seeking Redemption- Former contenders for home playoff games, Kennedy and Springbrook have taken a step back this year. Springbrook appears more competitive, and they should secure an on-field win. Prediction: Springbrook by 29.

Chesapeake-AA (5-2) at Watkins Mill (1-6): A Step Up in Class- Chesapeake-AA, a solid Anne Arundel County team, faces Watkins Mill. The visitors appear to be the stronger team, making them the favorites. Prediction: Chesapeake by 28.


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