By Kevin O’Rourke
While the hot and humid air in Germantown this week may not feel like football weather, the crack of shoulder pads hitting shoulder pads trumpets the beginning of high school football. Germantown’s two high school varsity teams will open their 2014 campaigns this Friday.
The Northwest High School Jaguars – who posted a 12-2 record in last year’s run to the state title – will defend its will its Class 4A State Championship title at home on Friday versus the Magruder High School Colonels at 6:30 pm.
Returning most of their starters this season, including junior quarterback Mark Pierce and senior running back E.J. Lee -- the Jaguars might feel like they are being hunted as a highly ranked team. The Jags are ranked number 3 in the Washington Post poll and number 6 in the Maryland High School Football State Poll. They are ranked number 1 in the MoCoFootball.com poll, while MaxPreps.com has the Jags ranked number 5 in the state.
Northwest has had success against Magruder, with a 6-1 lifetime record against the Rockville high school. Indeed, the Jags have shut-out the Colonels 61-0 and 55-0 in the last two seasons and have not lost to Magruder since November 2009.
Elsewhere on Friday, the Screamin’ Eagles of Seneca Valley High School will take on the Wheaton Knights at Blair High School in Silver Spring at 6:30 pm. Wheaton will play all of its home football games at Blair due to construction of the new Wheaton High School.
Coach Fred Kim and Seneca Valley will begin the 2014 campaign hoping to continue their lifetime unbeaten streak against Wheaton. The Screamin’ Eagles drubbed Wheaton -- 42-6 last September, and the Knights are coming off a poor showing in a scrimmage against Largo High School in Prince Georges County.
Seneca Valley will look to their sophomore running backs, Adrian Feliz-Platt and Darius Golston to show the same grit they displayed last year as freshmen in helping the team average more than 33 points per game. The Green and Gold are had a successful, but disappointing 7-3 season in 2013 missing the playoffs for the first time in four years.
Of course, the big Germantown game is in two weeks as Northwest visits Seneca Valley on Sept. 19 for the Battle of Germantown. The showdown falls on Military Appreciation Night, so U.S. Army Golden Knights will parachute on to the field before the game.