Eliminate Saturday's ambush in Howard County, in which three of our teams went down, and Anne Arundel County high school football teams had a pretty good weekend against outside competition. County teams went 3-1 Friday night and 3-4 overall.
While our local football teams still have a 13-16 losing record against non-county teams this season, they are showing improvement. They are certainly on a pace to win more than 19 of 60 games, as they did a year ago.
Reasons for being only six wins away from last year's total of 19 at only the three-week mark can be attributed to the improved play of St. Mary's, which is unbeaten; the Severn School, Arundel (4A) and Southern (2A).
As members of the Maryland Scholastic Association 'C' Conference, St. Mary's and Severn play primarily outside teams, and the two are eating up opponents. With arguably its best team since 1978's 9-0-1 squad, St. Mary's has reeled off its first four wins in a row, including Friday's 21-0 romp over Boys' Latin of Baltimore.
Severn took the long haul on Friday to the northern-most part of Virginia and ripped Chincoteague, 35-7, to run its record to 3-1.
All seven wins by the two schools have come against non-county teams. That total accounts for more than half of the overall wins for all county schools. Private schools are 7-4 vs. outsiders so far this season, with winless Archbishop Spalding (0-3) bearing the brunt of the negative side. A year ago, the trio of county private schools had a dismal combined record of 3-16.
Arundel has the best record among 4A schools against the outside foes at 2-0 while Annapolis is 0-2, but dealt Arundel its first loss Friday night by 7-3 in inter-county play. Severna Park is also 0-2 against outsiders, but beat Old Mill (1-0 vs. outsiders) 21-13.
Southern (2-1) won its first two over outsiders, but lost Saturday at highly-touted Wilde Lake (3-0), 34-zip. County public schools, 16-25 a year ago against the rest of the world, are off to a 6-12 record thus far with the 4A teams only 4-8.
The new North County High school football team of Chuck Markiewicz contributed to the 4A cause on Friday night with a 34-21 victory over Queen Anne's. The Knights were the only 4A school involved in a non-county encounter this weekend.
Besides Southern going down on Saturday in Howard County, South River and Northeast got beat by our neighbors. Oakland Mills (3-0) topped South River (1-2), 26-15, while Hammond (1-2) hammered Northeast (0-3) for the second year in a row, 28-0.
Stats aside, there were some outstanding individual performances over the weekend worth mentioning.
In St. Mary's fourth straight win over Boys' Latin (0-2) at Weems Whelan in Annapolis, Charlie Finamore scored two touchdowns on runs of 5 and 6 yards, while the Saints' defense posted its second consecutive shutout.
With each in "must-win" situations in terms of making postseason play, Annapolis and Severna Park posted their initial wins of the '90 campaign on their home turfs.
New look Annapolis (1-2) with Darryl Foote at the controls, passed its way to a 7-3 win over Arundel (2-1). Foote completed 6-of-16 for 82 yards, including a 7-yard TD pass to Carlos Evans in the final period.
Coach Roy Brown's Panthers, known for their running, have passed more in their first three games than they usually do in an entire season. Foote has completed 22-of-44 for 281 yards, two TDs and two interceptions in three games.
Severna Park (1-2) outlasted Old Mill (2-1) in a thrilling high school game, 21-13. The kicking of Severna Park senior Marc Anderson, an ex-soccer player for the Falcons, along with the kick returns and running from scrimmage (4-for-54 yards) of junior John Novak -- all 5-foot-8 and 145 pounds of him -- were instrumental in the victory.
Meade (1-2) presented first year head coach Hayse Henderson his first win by 7-6 over Broadneck (1-2). All the scoring came in the final period as a missed conversion kick cost the Bruins.
North County (2-1) exploded for 13 unanswered points in the final period on the arm of quarterback Johnny Ray and the legs of Vernon Dawson to put away Queen Anne's (2-1), 34-21. Ray led the Knights of coach Markiewicz by completing 26 of 50 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns while Dawson carried just 10 times for 132 yards and the last two touchdowns, one a dazzling 97-yarder.
Glen Burnie (2-1) downed winless Chesapeake (0-3), 21-6, as Tray Gillis tallied a pair of touchdowns. Sophomore Brandon Steinheim, one of 26 underclassmen on coach Tom Kraning's squad, scored the lone Cougar TD on a 27-yard jaunt in the final period.
"We keep shooting ourselves in the foot and can't get a break," said Kraning. "With the score 14-0, we intercepted a pass and ran it back 85 yards to a touchdown, but of course, it was called back on a roughing the passer call.
"Even when we are aggressive, we can't seem to do anything right. We're just making a lot of underclassman mistakes."