Previewing six of the top football playoff matchups this weekend
The first weekend of the high school football postseason for all but the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference, which started with quarterfinals last weekend, features 21 games involving Baltimore-area teams in state regional semifinals and MIAA A, B and C Conference semifinals. Here is a look at the top six games to watch this week:

MIAA A Conference semifinals

McDonogh (3-7) vs. No. 1 Gilman (7-2)

When: Saturday, 2:30 p.m.

Where: Archbishop Spalding

Coaches: Dom Damico, McDonogh; Biff Poggi, Gilman

Last meeting: Gilman won, 48-12, on Oct. 27

Outlook: At the beginning of the season, Poggi said McDonogh probably had more talent than any of the Greyhounds' other A Conference opponents, but the Eagles were young and they went through some growing pains. Three weeks ago, Damico switched talented freshman quarterback Jansen Durham for senior Travis Woods and the Eagles beat Mount St. Joseph, 24-0, and topped Loyola, 28-7, in last week's quarterfinal. In between, however, Gilman easily handled the Eagles with its combination of versatile offense, led by QB Shane Cockerille, and a stalwart defense. The defending MIAA A Conference champions have allowed an average of 8.8 points against A Conference foes and have won by an average of 32.6 points.

Mount St. Joseph (4-6) vs. No. 2 Calvert Hall (7-2)

When: Saturday, 11 a.m.

Where: Archbishop Spalding

Coaches: Blake Henry, Mount St. Joseph; Donald Davis, Calvert Hall

Last meeting: Calvert Hall won, 27-21 in 2 OTs, on Oct. 6

Outlook: Mount St. Joseph didn't win a regular-season A Conference game but came awfully close to beating Calvert Hall last month. In last week's quarterfinal, they finally broke through with an impressive 19-13 win over then No. 10 Archbishop Spalding behind RB Nevone McCrimmon (176 yards, 2 TDs). The Cardinals suffered their only A Conference loss to Gilman. Kevin Nickel's 10-yard scoring run made the difference in the double-overtime win over the Gaels last month, but the Cardinals played the first half without 15 players, including eight starters, who were taking the SAT exam. This time, the Cardinals will have everyone suited up at kickoff as they aim for a rematch of last year's title game against Gilman.

Regional semifinals

No. 11 South River (8-2) @ No. 9 Old Mill (8-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Region: 4A East

Coaches: Lance Clelland, South River; Chad McCormick, Old Mill