Football playoffs

High Schools

November 12, 1999|By Pat O'Malley

Class 3A quarterfinal

Damascus (9-1) at No. 10 Annapolis (9-1)

When: 7: 30 tonight

Radio: WNAV (1430 AM)

TV: Jones Cable. To be shown on TV 22 at 7: 30 p.m. Monday and at 8 p.m. Thursday on Annapolis TV 15.

Outlook: County champion Annapolis makes its county-record 11th playoff appearance -- and third straight. The last Annapolis postseason victory, 21-6 over Prince George's County's Friendly, was in 1992. Playing in the Class 3A tournament for the first time, the fourth-seeded Fightin' Panthers are 4-9 overall in the playoffs since their first appearance in 1978, when Annapolis was 12-0 and won a state title. The visiting, fifth-seeded Swarmin' Hornets from Montgomery County have lost only to the state's top-ranked Seneca Valley (10-0) by 28-6 and are 38-6 over the past four seasons. QB Mac Mollet has completed 81 of 155 passes for 1,443 yards, 18 touchdowns and has only been intercepted four times. WR Joe Scritchfield's 31 catches include half of Mollet's TD passes. Damascus' offensive line, which averages 250 pounds and is led by two-way tackle Billy Burns (6-foot-5, 260), could give smaller Annapolis problems. Coach Roy Brown's Panthers will rely on the running of Rayvon Johnson (1,803 yards, 27 touchdowns) and Aaron Copeland (980, eight). QB Mike Phaneuf has put the ball up just 52 times, completing 21, but 11 have gone for touchdowns to end Marvin Charles, who has 16 catches. Defensively, the Panthers need outstanding efforts from Copeland at LB, Johnson and Phaneuf in the secondary, and among others, Brandon Gulley and Trevon Williams up front. The winner likely gets a trip to Germantown next week to meet powerhouse Seneca Valley.

Class 4A quarterfinals

Watkins Mill (9-1) at No. 11 Severna Park (9-1)

When: 7: 30 tonight

Outlook: It's going to take an outstanding effort from their offense for the fourth-seeded Falcons to post the school's second playoff win in six tries since 1974; the only other win was 12 years ago, over Annapolis. Coach J. P. Hines has the Falcons within one win of tying the 12-year-old school record for most in a season. "It would be great to win at least one playoff game after the way these kids have worked so hard," said Hines. To do it, the Falcons need big games from RB Derek Dixon (1,152 yards, seven touchdowns) and the record-setting passing combo of QB Chris Odom and wide-out Paul Gillette and still another solid defensive effort. Odom has set school records for completions (83), TD passes (18) and passing yards (1,382). Gillette has set school records for catches (30), yards (527), and TD catches (eight). Gillette also doubles at DB and handles place kicking (three field goals). His county-best eight interceptions share Sean Miller's 1991 school record. The Falcons' defense, led by LBs David Wagner, Todd Soroka and Starke Mueller, DE Doug Hoffman and DL Jimmy Burney, is holding opponents to 12 points a game. Forcing turnovers might be a necessity for the Falcons' defenders, because their offense will be running into Penn State-bound tackle Erik Noll (6-5, 290), DL Taz Johnson (6-4, 300), LB Calvin Ogden (5-9, 230) and DB Chris Kimber, who has seven interceptions. No. 5 seed Watkins Mill (Class 4A state champs in 1993) has lost only to top-seed Gaithersburg, 29-7. Severna Park's only loss, 21-17, was to Annapolis.

Old Mill (7-3) at Gaithersburg (9-1)

When: 7: 30 tonight

Outlook: His team beset by injuries to key players, coach Mike Marcus is asking his Patriots to reach in their hearts for another shot at Severna Park -- that's if the Falcons prevail. Eighth-seeded Old Mill is 0-2 in playoff games, the most recent eight years ago, and has the dubious honor of visiting the top seed from Montgomery County. The host Trojans, state titlists in 1986 and 1992, are coached by John Harvill, now in his 43rd season and just two wins from the 300 (298-92) milestone. Gaithersburg's only loss this season was by 21-14 to Seneca Valley, and the Trojans boast a well-balanced attack with RB Jay Colbert (1,235 yards, 14 touchdowns) and QB Ian Hamilton (1,217 yards, 16 passing touchdowns). The Trojans are scoring 33.7 points a game and giving up 9.2. Old Mill has averaged 31 points and given up 19.6 but lost a lot of offense when leading receiver Jason Galloway (40 catches, 707 yards, 12 touchdowns) went down a couple weeks ago with a knee injury and QB Brian Williams (1,439 yards, 18 passing touchdowns) incurred a broken thumb on his throwing hand last week. The Pats will likely start inexperienced junior Steve Johnson at QB. RB Kelvin Collins (1,551 yards, 22 touchdowns) will have to have the game of his life for Old Mill to win.

Regular-season game

Severn (5-4) vs. St. Mary's (3-6)

When: 7 tonight

Where: Anne Arundel Community College

Outlook: The Admirals and Saints renew their Severn River Classic rivalry in Arnold. Severn prevailed in a wild 33-30 track meet last year and with a win tonight would leave the two teams 5-5 for the 1990s.

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