After four impressive weeks of football, Walkersville takes a litmus test this Friday to get a better idea of where it stands in the county pecking order.
The unbeaten Lions (4-0) travel to Linganore to face the unbeaten Lancers (4-0) in the most intriguing local game of Week 4. Linganore, a Class 3A school, is the clear favorite. But the Lancers will have to play reasonably well to win. Walkersville, a 2A school, has given Linganore fits in recent years, winning the 2011 and ’12 match ups and playing them tough in some of the losses.
The Lions have a nice group of playmakers, led by sophomore Jacob Wetzel, who is averaging more than 18 yards per touch. But, with a young quarterback, they rely heavily on their running game. To win this game, they will likely have to hit a pass or two to keep the Lancers honest. Walkersville already has an impressive road win this season, earned during the opening week at Thomas Johnson.
Linganore, meanwhile, seems to be getting by the week. The Lancers played a solid second half at Middletown two weeks ago and then pulled away last week for an impressive 38-20 victory at South Hagerstown, the Rebels first loss at home in more than two years. Senior running back Dante Butler, the county’s leading rusher, added four more touchdowns to his total, and the defense played a strong second half. Linganore should have enough respect for Walkersville to avoid looking ahead to next week’s showdown at Oakdale. The Lancers’ schedule lightens up after these next two weeks.
Elsewhere, Thomas Johnson (2-2) and Urbana (1-3) will play to keep their seasons relevant. The Patriots were thumped at Tuscarora (3-1) last week, 38-12, while Urbana was blown out by Oakdale, 35-7, which was the Bears’ first victory over the Hawks.
Oakdale (4-0) will tune up for its showdown with Linganore on Oct. 9 by hosting Catoctin (3-1), which is riding a three-game winning streak. The Cougars’ season will be defined, in large part, by these next three weeks with games at Oakdale, Walkersville at home and at Middletown.
Speaking of the Knights (1-3), they are trying to snap a three-game losing streak. They fell at Boonsboro for the second consecutive season last week, 20-12, and have now lost seven of their last eight, dating back to last season. They hope to get back on the right track against Frederick High (1-3), which is coming off its first win of the season last week against winless Brunswick, 41-9.
Tuscarora, meanwhile, will seeks its fourth consecutive win with a Saturday game at Chester, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia.
The wildcard for Friday’s slate of games will be the weather, as heavy rains are forecast. That could set up some unpredictable events and unexpected outcomes. Stay tuned.