Football semifinals

November 21, 1997|By Lem Satterfield

Wilde Lake (11-0) at Friendly (10-1)

When: Tonight, 7: 30

Outlook: Wilde Lake continues pursuit of its first state title since 1992 and fifth in 12 years by taking on the most formidable foe it has faced this season. The Wildecats have won 24 of their last 25 games but will be a lot smaller and not as fast as Friendly, which averages 254 pounds on its offensive line and has a linebacker, Leon Joe, who runs 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Friendly hasn't been to the playoffs since 1992, but has won three state titles -- the most recent in 1983. Wilde Lake led Howard County in points scored with 394, and fewest points allowed, 48. Friendly led Prince George's County with 339 points scored and 72 allowed. Friendly QB Anthony Walker completed 71 of 124 passes for 1,527 yards. RB Bobby Lane has 1,219 yards rushing. Wilde Lake counters with QB Derek Bell ( 27-49, 775) and RB Danny Bayron (1,055). Wilde Lake has made 22 turnovers; its opponents made 46.

Cambridge (9-2) at No. 3 Hereford (11-0)

When: Tonight, 7: 30

Outlook: Hereford, 15th-ranked in Maryland, plays host to two-time defending Class 1A state champ Cambridge in what should be the Bulls' toughest test to date. Hereford's second-team All-Metro OL-DL Jason Shupert (nine sacks) and LB Justin Phillips (11 sacks) should have their hands full trying to stop RB Kevin Parker (1,203 yards, 14 touchdowns) and RB Lavoya Neal (972, 11) of Cambridge. Hereford coach Steve Turnbaugh calls 20th-year Vikings' coach Doug Fleetwood (172-42 career) "a legend," adding: "The road to the 1A state title goes through the Eastern Shore." Hereford lost last year's semifinal to eventual runner-up Kent (another Shore team), and last week had to get by yet another, Snow Hill. The Vikings have been to the state playoffs a state-record 17 times and have won three state titles in five championship game appearances. "We played well last weekend," in a 27-12 victory at Forestville, said Fleetwood. "We've been here before."

Thomas Johnson (10-1) vs No. 8 Woodlawn (10-1)

When: Tonight, 7: 30

Site: Catonsville Community College

Outlook: Thomas Johnson, ranked No. 9 in the state, is in its fifth straight Class 3A playoffs and returns to the site of last year's first-round, 31-20 victory over Woodlawn. The Warriors, ranked No. 19 in the state, are in their first state semifinal under fourth-year coach Brian Scriven. Woodlawn trailed last year's game by 17 at halftime and pulled within three before succumbing. All-City/County RB-DB Tavon Mason (1,500 yards, 25 touchdowns) and Reggie Danage (1,378, 18) lead Woodlawn's explosive ground game, and Marquis Edmonds (nine sacks) leads its defense. Patriots' RB-LB Leroy Ambush (115 tackles), RB-LB Mike Briscoe (113) and Kris Derwin (91) are the Nos. 1, 2, and 3 tacklers. Offensively, Ambush (967, 19), QB Rickey Roberts (1,005 yards, 11 touchdowns) and Mike Briscoe are TJ's top rushers out of TJ's wing-T.

No. 13 Dunbar (7-4) at No. 12 Poly (8-3)

When: Tomorrow, 1

Outlook: This Class 2A semifinal marks the sixth and final meeting in a friendly, five-year rivalry between Poly's retiring coach Augie Waibel (280-74 over 35 seasons) and Dunbar's Stanley Mitchell (49-11, five years). Since the teams began playing in 1993, Mitchell's first year, the regular-season winner has at least reached the state semifinals. Poly won that first game and wound up a Class 3A state runner-up, while Dunbar made its first of five straight semifinal appearances -- winning two state titles. Poly's 27-26 win at home this year ended a three-year losing streak as it returns to the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Poly's No. 1 and No. 2 tacklers are All-City/County DB Carlton Saunders and All-City/County LB Tony Clark. Dunbar, winner of seven straight after a 1-4 start, counts on do-everything, two-time All-City/County DB-WR Dahnel Singfield (nine interceptions), All-City/County LB Kirk Williams (6-1, 240) and DB Tyrel Henderson (nine interceptions). "We almost missed the playoffs, but hopefully we're peaking at the right time," Mitchell said. With this being the first post-season meeting between the two schools, and a chance for Waibel to even his record against the Poets in his final season, a large crowd should be on hand.

Pub Date: 11/21/97

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