Arundel/Severna Park game looms large

SIDELINES

October 21, 1994|By PAT O'MALLEY

George Roberts Field in Severna Park will be the site tonight of one of the most important high school football games of the Anne Arundel County public school season.

No. 10 Arundel (5-1) visits unranked Severna Park (4-2) on the Falcons' homecoming and it could end up being the most pivotal game of the year in the county Class 4A League.

Severn School (5-1, 2-0 league) faces a similar crucial game in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference when the No. 12 Admirals visit St. Paul's (5-1, 2-0) in Baltimore County today. The game should determine the conference title, barring an upset of either the last two weeks.

Visiting Arundel has the only shot at going 9-1, which would give it the East Region title and automatic playoff berth. After Severna Park, the Wildcats have Old Mill (2-4), at Annapolis (4-2) and Meade (1-5) left on their schedule.

Judging by what has transpired up to this point, Arundel should win those final three, including Annapolis, a team that humbled the Wildcats, 36-0, last year. Annapolis has been struggling offensively.

Severna Park's playoff hopes are on the line tonight against a team that hammered them, 30-14, a year ago. A Falcons loss and the field of playoff contenders could be reduced to three providing No. 11 North County and Annapolis, both 4-2, win their games.

Wins by Severna Park, Annapolis and North County tonight would leave the trio tied with Arundel at 3-1 for first in the county 4A League.

Both Arundel, a 35-24 victor over Glen Burnie last week, and Severna Park like to control the football although the Wildcats will gamble at the most bizarre times.

The Falcons, still smarting from last week's fourth straight loss to North County by 46-26, will be revved up for several reasons -- homecoming, do-or-die game, revenge and pride.

Severna Park will be out to prove it can hit with Arundel, which has been called the county's best in that department.

This game should come down to whether the Falcons capitalize on Arundel's fancy to blitz and stop the quick pitch-misdirection plays that they couldn't last week as North County's Topper Ellis ran for four second-half touchdowns.

Also, the two punters, Arundel's Casey Trout (35.0 average) and Severna Park's converted soccer player, Adam Hurst (33.8), are among the county leaders.

Meanwhile, rejuvenated North County hopes to keep it going at Old Mill (2-4) tonight. The North County romp over Severna Park came on the heels of the 14-point loss to Arundel and moved the Knights into fourth place with 42 playoff points in the East Region behind Annapolis (43), Calvert (45) and Arundel (51).

The five-touchdown and 304-yard rushing effort of Ellis last week against Severna Park, fifth in the region (34 points), was reminiscent of the county record seven-touchdown and 336 yards rushing of Frank Brown against Chesapeake in 1992.

Annapolis plays host to Chesapeake (1-5), an 8-7 loser to Old Mill last week on Tim McGurk's second field goal of the game with 18 seconds left. The Panthers, a 14-6 winner over Chesapeake last fall, managed two final-period touchdowns to outlast Meade, 13-0.

An Annapolis victory is imperative because the Panthers close with North County, Arundel and Severna Park with only Arundel at home.

In other 4A action, Meade (1-5) visits Glen Burnie (3-3).

Broadneck (4-1), second in the 3A East to City (6-0) of Baltimore, hopes to continue on the road to its first playoff appearance in a visit to Northeast (2-2). The Eagles dropped a 22-20 decision to the Bruins last year.

With Boys' Latin (1-3, 1-1) and Archbishop Curley (4-2, 0-2) left on its schedule after this week, Severn School could seal the MIAA B Conference championship with a victory at 3:30 today at St. Paul's.

Senior running back John Vereen has been incredible for the Admirals, averaging 11 yards per carry (96 for 1,061) and scoring 15 touchdowns and 94 total points. The Crusaders won, 18-7, last year.

St. Mary's (4-2, 0-2) visits No. 6 Loyola (3-1, 1-0) in the MIAA A Conference tomorrow. The host Dons will be out to avenge last year's 10-7 loss to the Saints.

Completing the weekend schedule: tonight, Boys' Latin (1-3, 1-1) at Spalding (2-5, 0-2), and Cecil County's Class 1A North East (6-0) visits 2A Southern (3-3); tomorrow, 2A South River (2-4) at 4A Perry Hall (4-2).

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