Meade faces No. 1 North County, must win to save playoff hopes

Sidelines

November 01, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

A county football championship, and more importantly, a playoff berth are at stake at 7 tonight as top-ranked North County takes its aerial show into Fort Meade.

The Meade Mustangs (6-2) play host to the Knights (8-0), with both teams unbeaten in county Class 4A league play. Meade is 5-0 in league action, and has a visit to Arundel (5-3, 3-2) next week left. North County is 6-0 and playing its final league contest.

Meade is in a must-win situation tonight and next week.

"It's more important to us than it is to them, because they're probably in the playoffs already," said Meade coach Jerry Hartman. "We probably won't get in if we don't beat North County, no matter what we do next week."

North County has virtually clinched a playoff berth and with 91 playoff points would be the top seed in the eight-team field if the playoffs were to start today. That is not to say the game is unimportant to the Knights.

"That it means more to them than us is totally false totally false," said Knights coach Chuck Markiewicz. "It means an awful lot to us whether we're in or not. They're an excellent team."

Markiewicz and his Knights want the top seed and home-field advantage in the quarterfinals and semis with the state championship at the University of Maryland's Byrd Stadium.

A victory over Meade would leave North County one win -- home vs. 3A Broadneck Nov. 8 -- from becoming the 11th county team to go undefeated in regular season since 1960.

The Knights missed the playoffs last year for the first time in five years, finishing 7-3. Getting back has been their goal all season.

North County is worth 16 playoff points to Meade, currently 12th in the state rankings with 67 points.

Victories over 4A teams are worth eight playoff points, and in football, the last state sport using the points system, bonus points are awarded. Teams receive a point every time a team they beat wins. North County is worth eight bonus points.

"From a defensive point of view, we can't allow the big play, can't let them have one-play drives for touchdowns, and we need to win the kicking game," said Hartman, whose 'stangs lost, 21-0, last year to the Knights, whose special teams were responsible for two touchdowns.

Pub Date: 11/01/96

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