Selected by the sports staff of The Anne Arundel County Sun for the week ending Oct. 27. Only players nominated by coaches and the public are selected for the Players of the Week column. Nominations must be phoned to Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499, absolutely no later than 11 p.m. Sunday for inclusion in Tuesday's paper.
Top male athlete
Without question Middleton's performance in the 26-6 Annapolis upset of Glen Burnie in Class 4A football Friday night was the highlight of the week.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior made his last home game a memorable one by intercepting three of six enemy passes and going coast to coast some 101 yards on the last one, which happened to be the game's final play.
Middleton, who rushed for 50 yards, scored the first Annapolis touchdown on a 1-yard dive in the first period.
Later on a Glen Burnie third-and-two situation in the first period, he picked off his first pass to set up a 24-yard touchdown run by Mario Dominick.
Interception No. 2 by Middleton came at the Annapolis 5-yard line to quell a Gopher threat in the first half. His final piece of larceny provided the Panther homecoming crowd with an electrifying finish as he raced the length of the field.
Around midfield, Middleton, who was plagued by nagging injuries the first weeks of the season, danced through and around three Gopher would-be tacklers to break it.
With the victory Annapolis evened its overall mark at 4-4, but 4-1 in the County 4A League with two to go.
Coach Roy Brown's Panthers hope to win the county title or at least share it by winning at Meade this week and Severna Park (5-2, 5-0 league) the final week.
Hutson, a 5-foot-8 senior, has been a key player all season in the Gophers' drive to the county volleyball title, and she was brilliant Friday in the team's stunning three-set victory over Severna Park, which abruptly ended the Falcons' 87-game regular-season winning streak.
It was the Falcons' first regular-season loss since 1984.
Glen Burnie stunned the defending county and region champions, 15-5, 15-3 and 15-6, as Hutson was 10-for-12 at the service line with one ace, nine kills and five blocks.
Earlier in the week, Hutson helped the Gophers defeat Broadneck in three straight, 15-7, 15-7 and 15-8. Her numbers for the week were 18-for-21 serving with three aces and 19 kills.
Overall for the Gophers' 12-0 season thus far, Hutson is 165-for-191 at the line with 38 aces, 106 kills and 40 blocks.
"Christy has been an excellent, consistent player for us for three years and is part of the reason we're 12-0," said Coach Juanita Murdock-Milani.
Jennings cracked the 1,000-yards rushing mark in style Friday night at Broadneck as he paced the Falcons' to their fifth consecutive county 4A league victory (5-2 overall) by 10-6.
The 5-foot-6, 215-pound tailback gained 192 yards rushing, including a 7-yard touchdown run to lift his season total to 1,017 yards. Jennings, who has nine touchdowns and two regular-season games left, trails Severn's Daniel Wu (1,073) by 56 yards for the county rushing lead.
Bowerman has been one of the main blockers for the Falcons' John Jennings who went over the 1,000-yard mark on Friday in just seven games. The 6-foot, 205-pound offensive guard was the escort for Jennings as the latter rambled for 192 yards and a 7-yard touchdown run in a 10-6 win at Broadneck.
Mallinson tallied the game-winning goal in two games last week for the Falcons, including a crucial 1-0 victory over previously unbeaten North County on Wednesday.
With just over three minutes to go, Mallinson hit the game winner to deal North County its first loss after 10 consecutive wins.
Two days later, Mallinson scored what proved to be the game winner in a 3-1 victory over Meade, which sealed the Falcons' third straight county Class 4A League title with an 8-0 record, 10-2 overall.
A frustrating season in girls soccer at South River was put to rest on a positive note Friday night as Pearce fired in two goals in a 3-1 win over Southern. South River closed at 4-8 overall, prompting coach Jim Shuck to say, "The way we played tonight is the way we should have been playing all year."
Only a 14-year-old freshman, Orso was the only county golfer to finish in the top 10 of the Maryland State Championships last Thursday and Friday, tying four others for sixth place and after a playoff ending up 10th.
Orso is believed to be the first ninth-grader ever named to the All-State Golf Team. At the state meet at the University of Maryland, College Park, Orso shot rounds of 77 and 85 for a two-day total of 162.
His 77 the first day was good for third place, but he stumbled the second day. He still finished impressively in a field of 150 golfers, many of whom were seniors.
Cross country, girls
Ambrose won the county girls cross country championship Friday at Annapolis High to propel the Falcons to their eighth straight county title.
Coming in at 20 minutes and 16 seconds, Ambrose bested runner-up and teammate Fran Mackney by 16 seconds.
Cross country, boys
While he finished second to Glen Burnie's Sheridan Snedden (16 minutes, 44 seconds), Chambers' performance carried the Bruins of coach Jerry Kiple to the county boys cross country championship by two points over Old Mill, 48 to 50.