Final preseason tuneup for area football teams; Calvert Hall and Mount St. Joseph ready for season debuts Saturday

Calvert Hall football coach Donald Davis (left) directs his team during a scrimmage last weekend. The Cardinals open the regular season Saturday at Silver Oak Academy.

by Derek Toney

Football is back. The 2018 area high school campaign started Friday evening with Concordia Prep and McDonogh School claiming victory while Gilman School fell to District region power Gonzaga College.

Saturday, Mount St. Joseph and Calvert Hall College take to the gridiron. The Cardinals travel to Carroll County for a non-league match with Silver Oak Academy. The Towson private school defeated Silver Oak, 45-0, in the 2017 opener.

Calvert Hall seeks to improve on 7-5 showings in 2017 and 2016. After facing MIAA B program St. Vincent Pallotti in its home debut next weekend, the Cardinals will get its first major test with Prince George’s County public powerhouse Henry A. Wise, the three-time reigning Class 4A state champion, Sept. 7 at Russo Stadium.

The degree of difficulty should be much higher for Mount St. Joseph, which opens with St. Mary’s Ryken at Pleyvak Field in Irvington, with the Brother Lambert Cup at stake. St. Mary’s Ryken has possession, thanks to a 30-28 home victory in Leonardtown last year.

The series is tied at 2. The cup is named after Brother Lambert Bents, who was a former student and teacher at Mount St. Joseph and the founding Principal of Ryken, which became later St. Mary’s Ryken.

The Gaels (6-4 last season), who eliminated MIAA A Conference preseason playoff favorite Archbishop Spalding from postseason play in the 2017 regular season finale and gave eventual league champ and top-ranked St. Frances Academy its toughest match, are hoping to carry that momentum into 2018.

There won’t be a MIAA A postseason at stake for either Calvert Hall and Mount St. Joseph in 2018 after both, along with fellow league members Gilman School, McDonogh School and Spalding decided in late spring not to play St. Frances this year, citing safety concerns.

Mount St. Joseph coach Rich Holzer will look to regain possession of the Brother Lambert Cup as the Gaels welcome southern Maryland rival St. Mary’s Ryken in their season opener Saturday afternoon in Irvington.

In a memo earlier this month, the MIAA declared St. Frances the A league champions for 2018, and that there would be no playoffs or championship game in the league in 2018 and no official standings will be kept for those teams competing in the A Conference.

Most area public teams are completing their preseason prep with scrimmages this weekend.

The regular season kicks into full mode next weekend.

Friday’s football results

Concordia Prep 38, Central Maryland Christian 0

Gonzaga College (DC) 47, Gilman School 0

McDonogh School 16, Archbishop Wood (PA) 7

Saturday’s football schedule

Regular season

Calvert Hall College at Silver Oak Academy, 12 p.m.

St. Mary’s Ryken at Mount St. Joseph, 1 p.m.

Preseason scrimmages

Wheaton at Centennial, 8 a.m.

Mercersburg Academy (PA), St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School vs. St. John’s Catholic at McCurdy Field, 10 a.m.

Milford Mill at Henry A. Wise, 10 a.m.

Parkdale at North County, 10 a.m.

Owings Mills at Lansdowne, 11 a.m.

Patterson Mill at C. Milton Wright, 11 a.m.

St. Vincent Pallotti at Elkton, 11:30 a.m.

New Town at Douglass, 12 p.m.

Chesapeake-Anne Arundel at Chesapeake-Baltimore County, 12 p.m.

Forest Park at Towson, 5 p.m.