Well, on paper anyway, the game of the season in Frederick County will be played this Friday when unbeaten Linganore (5-0) travels to face unbeaten Oakdale (5-0). It’s arguably the biggest regular-season game the Bears have played in five varsity seasons. Linganore, on the other hand, has played a million games like this. But it definitely represents the Lancers’ biggest test of the season.
Oakdale is winning games largely the way Linganore won them last season. That’s with good defense and a diverse, big-play offense. The Lancers, meanwhile, are winning with their running game, led by senior Dante Butler, the county’s leading rusher, and bend-but-don’t-break defense. There is no doubt Oakdale has been the most impressive team in the county so far this season. But the Bears lack Linganore’s pedigree and big-game experience. It’s a very interesting matchup, to say the least.
Another team that’s distinguished itself so far is Walkersville. The Lions are 4-1 and gave Linganore everything it could handle last week in a rain-soaked, 7-6 road loss. The only thing that really separated the teams over 48-plus minutes was a blocked extra point in overtime. Walkersville is young, talented and, as per its tradition, formidable on both lines of scrimmage. As long as they qualify, the Lions should be a pretty tough out in the Class 2A West playoffs.
Both Middletown (2-3) and Urbana (2-3) got back on track last Friday with water-logged wins in the rain. The Knights pounded visiting Frederick (1-4), 50-14, while the Hawks turned to their running game to grind to a 20-6 victory over visiting Thomas Johnson (2-3). Middletown faces winless Brunswick this week. Urbana, meanwhile, will travel to Clarksburg.
Catoctin (3-2) saw its three-game winning streak end with a 42-0 loss at Oakdale. The Cougars face another formidable test this week when they host Walkersville.
And Tuscarora (3-1) was the only county team to fall victim to the weather last week. The Titans’ game against Chester High near Philadelphia was canceled and won’t be made up. That means Tuscarora will only play nine games this season, which may or may not impact its playoff status in the 3A West.
On the private school front, St. John’s Catholic Prep (4-0-1) will host Annapolis Christian at 6 p.m. Friday in a game that will go a long way in deciding the MIAA C Conference championship. The teams already met in the season opener, and the game was tied at 30 before it was called due to stormy weather. They decided to call it a tie instead of finishing the game at a later date. So, this should be another competitive game with a more satisfying outcome.
Maryland School for the Deaf (5-1), meanwhile, bounced back from a rare loss and beat previously unbeaten Texas School for the Deaf, 32-16, in Austin, Texas.