Weekend Watch: Five must-see matches

Evansville Memorial faces North in a playoff game featuring teams with a combined 29-1-7 record. Sheldon Shealer/ESPNHS

Each week during the high school season, ESPNHS highlights five Friday or Saturday matches that have a compelling storyline or could have significant state, region and/or national implications.

This week, a trip by McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) to New York could prove pivotal in the national rankings. Meanwhile, Tennessee's top-ranked Baylor School (Chattanooga, Tenn.) should get a test, as welll

Friday, Oct. 14

No. 1 Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) vs. No. 48 St. John’s (Washington, D.C.): This should be the first in several meetings with POWERADE FAB 50 programs over the next few weeks for Good Counsel. A clean slate through this late-season run would merit No. 1 consideration. Earlier this week, Good Counsel flexed its local muscle, routing previously undefeated Damascus, 6-1. St. John’s, meanwhile, has a lone early-season loss to FAB 50-ranked Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.) and is always a stiff challenger to Good Counsel in this Washington Catholic Athletic Conference clash.

Londonderry (Londonderry, N.H.) vs. Timberlane Regional (Plaistow, N.H.): This late-season match-up features two of the Division I top-five programs. Londonderry, at 9-1-1, is considered a strong state title contender. Timberlane, meanwhile, is currently the No. 5 team in the state’s power point standings.

Saturday, Oct. 15

No. 7 Evansville Memorial (Evansville, Ind.) vs. Evansville North (Evansville, Ind.): This regional final pits a pair of teams with a combined record of 29-1-7 … and that includes Memorial’s win over North during the regular season. Playoff matches tend to bring out the best in the underdog, so expect an outcome closer than Memorial’s 4-0 victory earlier in the year. However, Memorial remains a solid favorite.

No. 8 Baylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.) vs. Father Ryan (Nashville, Tenn.): Father Ryan has played – and lost – to the current No. 2 and 3 teams in Tennessee. Therefore, Baylor will need a solid win over Father Ryan to retain its position as the top-ranked program in the state.

Sunday, Oct. 16

No. 10 McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) vs. Massapequa (Massapequa, N.Y.): This trip will help connect the country’s fall “power” states through results. McDonogh already has played top teams in New Jersey and Ohio. The Ohio team competed in Indiana against programs from several states, including Tennessee. One of Tennessee’s top teams faced the top California program, which has a common opponent with the current No. 1 in Utah. These seemingly isolated matches, such as McDonogh’s weekend trip to New York, actually do a lot to validate the POWERADE FAB 50 coast-to-coast.