For openers, top county teams take to the road


September 06, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Let's tee it up. High school football is back!

Fourteen games involving Anne Arundel County teams are on tap (11 today) this weekend. Only Old Mill at Broadneck, 7: 30 tonight, matches two county teams.

The county's ranked teams -- No. 4 North County, No. 6 St. Mary's, No. 8 Arundel and No. 13 Meade all face tough opponents in their respective openers on the road save for St. Mary's.

Anne Arundel Community College is the site of tomorrow's 7 p.m. opener for the Saints vs. Laurel's Pallotti. St. Mary's blanked Pallotti, 14-0, on the way to a 7-3 season in '95.

Second team All-County linebacker Monte Graves (6-foot-2 and 240 pounds) is the main man among eight returning starters on an outstanding defense.

"The longest gain running against us in our scrimmages was only eight yards," said St. Mary's coach Brad Best.

St. Mary's is looking to be right there again in the MIAA A Conference. The Saints tied the two conference teams ranked ahead of them in the Sun's preseason poll in No. 2 Mount St. Joseph and No. 5 Loyola for a tri-championship.

North County opens 1: 30 p.m. at Eleanor Roosevelt, a Prince George's team ranked No. 9 in the Washington Post (North County is No. 12).

Roosevelt, a playoff team at 9-2 overall last year, averaged 34 points per game and routed the Knights, 58-29. The Raiders return nearly 30 players (16 starters).

"They're pretty good, but those are the kinds of games we want to play to get ready for the county league and the playoffs," said Knights coach Chuck Markiewicz, who is looking for a fast start this season.

The Knights came into '95 as defending 4A state champion but dropped their first two games and it cost them a playoff berth after four consecutive appearances.

North County returns 15 starters including All-Metro defensive end Richard Allen (6-3, 230) and All-County linebacker Marvin Mobley (6-0, 190). Their run-and-shoot offense has gained a lot of notoriety, but Markiewicz is well aware that defense wins championships.

On the way to its state crown in '94, the Knights prevailed at Roosevelt, 28-18, in their season opener.

Thirteenth-ranked Meade visits Laurel at 1: 30 p.m. tomorrow. Coach Jerry Hartman's Mustangs came from behind to nip Laurel, 18-16, last season and it proved to be crucial. The victory enabled Meade to edge North County (both teams were 7-3 in regular season) for the eighth and final playoff berth.

Meade-Laurel matches strength against strength, each team averaging about 250 pounds a man in the trenches. Danny Todd (6-2, 275), a senior middle linebacker, will have his sites on Laurel's tailback, Terry Denoon, an honorable mention All-State running back last season.

Defending 4A county champion Arundel travels to always tough Caesar Rodney in Delaware for a 7: 30 game tonight.

Arundel returns blue-chip QB Erik Lipton and All-Metro end Joe Parker, but is rebuilding its defense.

"They [Caesar Rodney] are in the same boat we are, had a real good year last year, but lost a lot of people like we did," said Arundel coach Bill Zucco.

Arundel has six players, four of them starters, academically ineligible until the third week and that has Zucco concerned.

Annapolis will play host to Lucas Phillips and No. 2 Mount St. Joseph 7: 30 tonight at Laramore Field. Phillips, a Ferndale resident and four-year starter, is considered one of the top QB prospects in the East.

The Gaels humbled Annapolis, 32-0, last year without Phillips and 26-6 the year before with him. Severna Park resident Mike Wells, now a senior end, filled in for the injured Phillips last season and turned in an admirable performance against the Panthers.

Other games tonight at 7: 30 include: Glen Burnie at Queen Anne's, Severna Park at Northern-Calvert, and Frankfurt (W.Va.) at Spalding; at 7 p.m.: Lackey at South River, Atholton at Northeast, Southern of Baltimore at Chesapeake, Douglass-PG at Southern of Harwood. Severn School plays Bullis Prep at 4 p.m.

Pub Date: 9/06/96

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