4A play promises tight competition


September 24, 1993|By PAT O'MALLEY

The real fun begins today as the county's Class 4A football league opens.

The eight 4A teams grouped in the East Region with Calvert County teams Calvert and Northern and Queen Anne's of the Eastern Shore have played three games, and only two teams remain untarnished.

North County, ranked No. 6 by The Baltimore Sun, and Severna Park, No. 8, are the only 4A teams with 3-0 records as the very competitive and highly unpredictable league play begins.

St. Mary's of the Maryland Scholastic Association Armstrong A Conference is the county's only other 3-0 team, and the Saints visit fourth-ranked McDonogh (2-0) of Baltimore County at 3 p.m. today in a big league game of their own.

The high-powered Knights of North County visit the Gophers at Glen Burnie (2-1) at 7 p.m. and Severna Park plays host to Meade (1-2) at 7:30 p.m. The two undefeated teams aren't facing pushovers, and they know it.

Ranked No. 1 in Maryland by the Associated Press State Poll this week, North County has been rolling up the points (112) while being stingy on defense (28), led by linebackers Troy Fowlkes and Reggie Moore and defensive back Teon Carter.

Quarterback Justin Rice has passed for 643 yards and 12 touchdowns and completed 42 of 64 attempts.

Glen Burnie slipped past winless Queen Anne's last week, 13-6, and has outscored its foes, 52-33, in three games, a far cry from the Knights' numbers.

The Gophers were defeated by the Knights, 47-14, last year, and in the only other meeting between the schools, in 1991, Glen Burnie lost, 7-6.

It could be a long night for the Gophers as they try to slow down the big and fast Knights. North County simply has too many ways to win.

Meade has not defeated Severna Park since 1988 (20-17) when North County coach Chuck Markiewicz was at the helm of the Mustangs.

The Falcons have won four in a row, including a 55-22 romp last fall, but this is a much different Meade team under first-year coach Jerry Hartman.

Coming off a 26-15 loss at Westminster, Meade played well in its first two games and is a threat with Kenny Walker carrying the ball. The senior is averaging 8.4 yards per carry on 339 yards rushing and has scored six touchdowns.

To avoid the upset, Severna Park, a team gaining confidence and momentum after its impressive 19-7 win over Springbrook last Friday, must contain Walker and keep the ball away from him by controlling it on offense. It's not likely the Falcons will ring up 55 points this time.

The other 4A league games at 7:30 tonight find Annapolis (2-1), minus a couple injured starters, visiting Old Mill (0-3) and Chesapeake (2-1) at Arundel (1-2).

On the way to the county title (8-0) and the playoffs last year, Annapolis struggled to squeak past Old Mill (2-8), 30-22. Coming off a lackluster 6-0 victory over Mount St. Joseph and losing a couple of starters, coach Roy Brown is concerned about the Patriots.

Arundel (22-15 to Broadneck) and Chesapeake (51-14 to North County) are both coming off losses and looking to gain respect.

St. Mary's opens its MSA schedule at McDonogh and has a chance to win. McDonogh squeaked by St. Paul's of the B Conference, 7-6, last week.

If coach Brad Best can get continued strong running from Jason Lilly (7.2 per carry and four touchdowns) and the kind of line play on both sides of the ball he's gotten in the first three games, the Saints could pull the upset. Mark Kiefer's kicking (three field goals) could be the difference in a close game.

Calvert Hall (2-0) visits the run-and-shoot Broadneck Bruins (2-1) at 7:30 p.m., and Severn School (1-2) welcomes Jim Doyle back as coach in a 7 p.m. MSA B Conference game at Brooklyn Park against Archbishop Spalding (0-3).

Looking for its first win, South River (0-3) visits Albert Einstein (2-1) for a 7 p.m. contest in Montgomery County.

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