Arundel faces big test vs. Annapolis

SIDELINES

November 04, 1994|By PAT O'MALLEY

Before the football season began, Arundel coach Bill Zucco said that if his Wildcats could do better against Glen Burnie, Broadneck and Annapolis they could make the playoffs for the first time in about a decade.

Standing fifth in the Class 4A state football ratings (eight will qualify), Arundel has an important date at Annapolis (5-3) tonight.

Annapolis is 12th and has been virtually eliminated, but an upset of Arundel could give the Panthers a remote chance going into Severna Park the final week of the regular season.

Zucco did not mention defending county Class 4A League champion and No. 10 North County (6-2). He didn't because his (( Wildcats have the Knights' number and emerged victorious over them for a second year in a row on Oct. 7.

Glen Burnie, Annapolis and Broadneck defeated Arundel last year, resulting in a 6-4 season, the Cats' first winning campaign since 1985, but because of those three losses, they missed the playoffs.

No. 14 Arundel (6-2) defeated Glen Burnie, but lost to Broadneck again, on a fluke, 98-yard halfback option pass in the waning seconds.

So, with two losses, the Annapolis game looms big for Arundel. A Wildcats victory should virtually assure them of a playoff berth, barring a final week upset loss to rival, but struggling, Meade (1-7).

The Arundel incentive includes a 36-0 defeat by the Panthers a year ago. Nothing would be sweeter than to knock the Panthers out of the playoffs on their own turf.

Arundel is coming off a 29-7 victory over Old Mill and is led by

running backs Casey Trout (784 yards rushing, 12 touchdowns) and Mike Haertel (741, eight touchdowns). Linebacker John Norsworthy leads Arundel on defense with 84 tackles.

In contrast, Annapolis dropped a lackluster 7-0 decision at North County last week. Teshawn Cooper is the Panthers' leading ball carrier with 652 yards rushing, but has only three touchdowns.

Running back Marty Sellers (534 yards) leads the Panthers in scoring with six touchdowns.

North County is the county's highest-rated team in the 4A playoff hunt, standing in fourth place with 71 points to 69 for fifth-place Arundel, and visits Meade tonight. Meade is at the bottom of state 4A schools with only 10 playoff points, yet Knights' coach Chuck Markiewicz is worried.

"We can't afford to play like we did against Annapolis when we go to Meade and expect to win and make the playoffs," said Markiewicz whose Knights slipped past the Mustangs, 26-12, a year ago.

"You keep playing like we did against Annapolis and bad things happen."

Hurt by the fact that 3A Thomas Stone (2-6) and 4A Queen Anne's (3-5), two teams the Falcons beat haven't been winning, Severna Park (6-2) has somehow sneaked into seventh place in the ratings with 64 points over the 63 by eighth-place Calvert.

A team earns a bonus point every time a team it defeated wins, and Stone/Queen Anne's have only provided the Falcons with five bonus points. That smarts and the Falcons don't stand to gain a lot tonight in a visit to Old Mill (2-6), but they have to keep winning and keep their fingers crossed.

Severna Park blanked Old Mill, 17-0, last season.

Chesapeake (2-6) at Glen Burnie (4-4) completes the 4A schedule. The host Gophers took last year's meeting by 12-0.

After being crushed 24-0 by streaking South River, Broadneck (5-2) tumbled from fourth to 11th in the state 3A ratings and its chances of earning its first playoff berth are in jeopardy. It doesn't help the Bruins that they have to visit Southern (5-3) tonight and close at home with North County.

vTC Class 2A Southern has played a tough schedule with Bobby Procopio running for 947 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Bulldogs (15th in 2A) won't be returning to the playoffs, but can win the county's 2A-3A league with victories over Broadneck and at South River next week.

South River (4-4) and Southern are 1-0 in the 2A-3A league and the Seahawks visit Northeast (2-6) in Pasadena tonight. The Hawks routed the Eagles, 39-6, last season and are gunning for their third win in a row.

Senior John Vereen (1,446 yards rushing) plays his final game at No. 11 Severn (7-1, 4-0) today as the Admirals play host to Archbishop Curley (5-3, 1-3).

Vereen needs two touchdowns to score more than any county back in a season although his record was not set in the county public school league where Frank Brown of North County holds the mark of 24 set in 1992.

Archbishop Spalding (2-7, 0-3) visits Cardinal Gibbons (2-5, 2-2) tonight.

St. Mary's (4-4) visits St. Joseph's of New Jersey tomorrow at 1 p.m.

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