Broadneck semifinal rematch pits two offense-minded teams Bruins also seek revenge for last fall's playoff ouster

November 20, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

After getting a first taste of the playoffs last year and then, tasting victory in the playoffs last week, Broadneck is still thirsty.

Two more victories will quench that thirst as the No. 4-ranked Bruins travel to Friendly in Fort Washington, Prince Georges County, for a 7: 30 Class 3A State semifinal tonight.

Both teams are 11-0 with high-octane offenses, Broadneck having outscored opponents 390-105 and Friendly outscoring its foes 330-83.

Friendly, a 41-7 victor over Bel Air last week while Broadneck slipped past Westlake, is a veteran playoff team with three state titles, the last in 1983. It was at Friendly a year ago that the Bruins' playoff debut was ruined, 34-20.

"But I never realized how important playoff experience means," said Bruins coach Jeff Herrick. "It means a lot, and our kids didn't have that playoff experience last year. It showed last week."

Down 21-0 at the half last week in their quarterfinal with Southern Maryland Athletic Conference champion Westlake, from Waldorf, the Bruins staged a dramatic comeback to win, 22-21, on a Lehrman Dotson-to-Laron Colbert two-point conversion pass with 3: 08 left.

The thrilling victory in front of a huge crowd in Cape St. Claire left the Bruins one win from a state championship game and from becoming only the second county team to win 12 games in a season.

Under the late Al Laramore, Annapolis won the 1978 state championship with a 12-0 record. Broadneck is one of just four county teams to win 11 games.

The Bruins, averaging 35.5 points a game this season, are also 40 points away from the county record for total team points scored in a season. The 1993 state finalist Southern-Harwood team scored 429 points in 13 games and also set a state record for total touchdowns, 63.

North County's 1992 team scored 427 points -- and also set the 10-game regular-season standard with 393. Broadneck had 368 in regular season and takes 390 with 57 touchdowns into tonight's game.

Four-year running back Martel Threadgill has 26 of those touchdowns, one under the county record. He also has the county's fourth-best single-season scoring total of 156 points.

Threadgill, who scored his 50th career touchdown (making him fourth all-time) to set up the winning conversion last week, is the county's all-time leading rusher with 3,922 yards, which ranks him 13th in Maryland history.

What success he has running against Friendly could be crucial tonight and would make QB Dotson a more dangerous threat to pass or run. Together, the Bruins need to keep the ball away from Friendly.

"They've got a variety of formations, maybe 10, spread and tight -- different than anything we've seen this year," said Herrick. "And they're well-coached."

The Patriots' biggest offensive threats are RB Bobby Lane (1,622 yards, 21 TDs) and WR Tra Tribble (35 receptions, 725 yards, seven TDs). QBS Keith Ferguson and Jamal Strong are equally talented.

Lane ran for 171 yards and three touchdowns in last week's rout of Bel Air and back in week two of the season rambled for over 200 yards and three TDs in a 33-12 victory at Meade (5-5).

"We didn't have a film of the Meade game, but we've scouted them the last three weeks," said Herrick, who hopes his defense, led by linebackers Sam Strother and Tremayne Williams, will be up to the task.

Dorian Watkins, who Herrick says is "the best cover man" he has coached, will have his hands full with Tribble or Friendly's other -- outstanding receiver, Jason Snyder.

"Friendly is the team we hoped to play, because they knocked us out last year," said Williams.

Pub Date: 11/20/98

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