Baltimore area teams infiltrate state playoffs As six local teams make postseason, plots thicken

Football

November 18, 1998|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

As the Baltimore area sends six football teams into this weekend's state semifinals, there are some intriguing matchups in addition to the possibility of all-Baltimore area finals in the 1A and 3A classifications.

With defending 1A champ Hereford (10-1), 2A Randallstown (11-0) and 3A Eastern Tech (11-0), Baltimore County has qualified three teams for the semifinals for the first time since the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association expanded from four to eight teams in 1984.

And with second-ranked Eastern Tech facing fifth-ranked C. Milton Wright (10-1) of Harford County at Kenwood Friday night, the Baltimore area is guaranteed a 3A finalist for the second straight year (Wilde Lake won the 3A crown last year).

In its first playoff appearance last year, Eastern Tech was blown out by eventual runner-up Thomas Johnson. Last weekend, however, the Mavericks eliminated last year's 3A champ, Wilde Lake, 27-20.

To produce an all-area 3A final, fourth-ranked Broadneck (11-0), the No. 3 seed, has to overcome Prince George's County's No. 2 seed Friendly (11-0).

Friendly hammered seventh-ranked Bel Air, 41-7, last weekend in its quest for a fourth state title, while Broadneck overcame a 21-0, first-half deficit to beat Westlake, 22-21. The Bruins earned their first playoff victory after having become Anne Arundel County's 11th program to go unbeaten during the regular season. Westlake was ranked No. 18 in Washington.

Broadneck-Friendly is a rematch of last year's first-rounder, which the Bruins lost, 34-20, in their first playoff berth.

The Harford County champ C. Milton Wright Mustangs are in their ninth playoff appearance under 13th-year coach Steve Harward.

Before a partisan crowd of nearly 3,000 in upper Montgomery County, last weekend, the Mustangs overcame a 7-0 second-period deficit to beat Damascus, 24-14. C. Milton thwarted Damascus' quest for a fourth state title -- its third in the '90s. Damascus was ranked No. 13 in Washington, and No. 15 in the state.

"It's fair to say we've been a second half team at times," said Harward. "We're more multi-dimensional than we've been in a long time. We try to move the ball around, get other kids involved and that's worked out well for us."

To produce an all-area 1A final, No. 9 Hereford, the top seed, would have to defeat fifth seed Forestville of Prince George's County -- a 39-36 winner over six-time champ Allegany last week. Also, No. 13 Oakland Mills (10-1) of Howard County, in its ninth fTC playoff berth and the No. 2 seed in 1A, would have to eliminate third seeded three-time champ Cambridge (10-1) of the Eastern Shore.

"They [Forestville] beat Allegany, at home, in front of their big crowd. Allegany's a team that was favored to take it all this year, so Forestville's a team has a tremendous amount of confidence," said Hereford coach Steve Turnbaugh. "Plus they have a lot of speed to make the big play."

Of Cambridge, Scorps coach Ken Hovet said: "We're bigger, they're faster. They'll try to run outside. It's hard to practice against their speed, but it's a big deal for us that it's at Oakland Mills."

A quarterfinal loser to Poly last season, Randallstown -- making its county-leading 12th playoff appearance -- won, 21-14, last Friday night in overtime against Einstein (9-2) of Montgomery County, No. 16 in the Washington area.

Pub Date: 11/18/98

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