After watching game films of Springbrook running back Leonard Green last week, Severna Park's football team got a real-life look at the 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior standout.
And as the saying goes: There's nothing like the real thing.
For despite their preparation, the eighth seeded Falcons (7-3) couldn't stop Green, who rushed for all five of his team's touchdowns and led Springbrook to a 34-3 victory.
Of the top-seeded Blue Devils' 404 total yards, Green rushed for 234 and had 67 more on five pass receptions. Green has 27 touchdowns and 1,543 rushing yards so far this year.
Green's final scores -- a 15-yard scamper and a 39-yard pass from quarterback Anthony Sawyer -- came in the fourth quarter and were just the icing on the cake.
Green got what Severna Park coach Andy Borland called "the nail in the lid of the coffin" with 5:38 left in the third quarter, culminating a five-play, 60-yard drive. He broke two tackles and went over from eight yards out to give the Blue Devils a commanding 21-3 lead.
"Before that, we thought we were still in good shape," said Borland, who will have to wait until next year to get his 100th career coaching victory.
The two-time defending state champion Blue Devils (11-0) will play host to Montgomery County rival Wootton (11-0), a 17-7 winner over Old Mill (9-2) on Friday night.
Springbrook's 16th-year coach Bob Milloy is going for his seventh state title since 1979.
Springbrook is ranked No. 1 in the Washington Post D.C.-area poll and the city-wide poll as well as No. 22 in USA Today's national poll.
The game was played against a chilly, shifting wind. Wet from rain the night before, the mostly dirt field became increasingly muddy and treacherous during the game.
The slick field -- and the Blue Devil defense -- made it tougher on the Falcons' run-oriented offense. Quarterback Steve Foreman was constantly flushed from the pocket on passing plays by the Blue Devil's defensive pursuit.
"We didn't anticipate the weather conditions. The field was in terrible shape," said Severna Park's 5-foot-6, 210 pound junior John Jennings, who rushed 24 times for 97 yards. He ends the season with 1,361 rushing yards.
Yet on its opening possession, Springbrook took 6:02 to go 70 yards in 15 plays for their first score -- Green's two-yard touchdown plunge. Green, who had 129 first-half yards, had 63 yards and an 11-yard catch in the drive.
Then, Michael Gillespie converted his first of four successful extra point attempts to give the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead.
The two teams briefly traded possessions. Severna Park held the Blue Devils at their own 37. Then, the Falcons started from their own 20 after the Blue Devil's 62-yard punt sailed into the endzone.
From there, Severna Park got a solid effort from its offensive line and went 72 yards to the Springbrook 8-yard line. But after a botched pass play that looked like a sure touchdown, the Falcons had to settle for Marc Anderson's 27-yard field goal which made it 7-3 with 8:17 remaining in the second quarter.
On a counter-pass play, Foreman faked up the middle and overthrew Robby McCandless who had beaten Blue Devil defenders and was wide open on the right.
"We beat ourselves with that one," said Jennings, who had rushes of 14 and 16 yards in that drive and totalled 68 yards in the first half. "We tried to pass a lot today because we felt that the pass was open."
The drive began with McCandless' 16-yard catch, but the Blue Devils made some defensive changes and Foreman, who was sacked four times, was under constant pressure the rest of the day.
The Blue Devils' next touchdown drive was an 83-yarder that culminated with another one-yard dive by Green, giving his squad a 14-3 halftime lead.
The Falcons had a pair of 15-yard penalties in the drive.
"You just can't have penalties like that," said Borland, who has an overall 99-84 career record in 18 seasons. "Those two penalties gave them that touchdown. Overall, they did exactly what we thought they would do, but we just didn't play well defensively."
The Falcons, who began the season at 0-2, had to win their last seven games along with the county title to reach the playoffs.