State Football Semifinals

November 19, 1999

Class 4A

No. 9 Severna Park (10-1) at Gaithersburg (10-1)

When: 7: 30 tonight

Outlook: On paper, the host Trojans have the edge, averaging 33.4 points and yielding only 7.8 points a game with three shutouts. Their all-time leading rusher, Jay Colbert, who has run for 1,235 yards and scored 17 touchdowns, missed last week's 30-3 quarterfinal win over Old Mill with a bad ankle, but is expected to play tonight. Visiting Severna Park has scored 27.2 points a game while giving up 12.5 with no shutouts, but the Falcons have been one of those teams that has done whatever it takes to win. They have won blowouts and won the close ones -- two by one point and a third by a touchdown -- with their only loss coming at the hands of Annapolis, 21-17 in the final minute. "You can't go by numbers. Field position plays a big part as to what type of calls you will make, " said Severna Park's second-year coach, J.P. Hines, who is concerned about the Trojans' MLB-OT Kevin Neubeiser. "Mistakes play the big key." Defense has been the Falcons' calling card all season, with the likes of LBs David Wagner and Todd Soroka, DL Jimmy Burney and Paul Gillette, the WR-PK who also anchors the defensive secondary. That defensive unit has to be ready to play if the Falcons are to advance to next weekend's final in College Park. On the other side of the ball, the Falcons are hoping for a typical game from RB Derek Dixon (1,260 yards, seven TDs) and the school-record passing pair of QB Chris Odom (1,477 yards, 19 TDPs) and Gillette (34 receptions, 517 yards, 8 TDs). "Our kids are ready and anxious to go, " said Hines. -- Pat O'Malley

Class 3A

No. 2 Randallstown (9-2) at Thomas Stone (11-0)

When: 7: 30 tonight

Outlook: Randallstown avenged a loss to Liberty Road-rival Milford Mill in last week's Class 3A playoff quarterfinal that cost the Rams the regular-season Baltimore County 3A-4A crown. In tonight's game, the Rams travel to Waldorf of Charles County to face Southern Maryland Athletic Conference champion Thomas Stone, ranked No. 8 in the state. Running out of an alternating I, option and pro-set offense, the Cougars have two 1,000-yard rushers in RB Marcus Whalen (1,688, 16 TDs) and RB Mike Finamore (1,035, 14). Whalen is regarded as one of the state's top Division I running-back recruits and, according to his coach, Richard Callahan, has received 10 full-scholarship offers. LB Mike Warr has a team-high seven sacks.Thomas Stone QB Phil Budenbender has thrown for six TDs and KR Mark Johnson has returned three kickoffs for scores. The Rams will counter with OL-DL Will Epps (six sacks) and second-team All-Metro LBs Quan Mitchell and Mykle Bouie (three sacks). QB Archie Trader runs Randallstown's Wing-T attack, which boasts RB Davon Johnson (nine TDs), RB Tyese Ademluyi (six) and RB Jabari Savage (two), and TE Mitchell (four TDs), WR Charles Smith (two) and WR Gary Bates.-- Lem Satterfield

State's 1999 top rushers Rank Player School, Yards TDs Games

1. Mike Hall, Parkville , 2,145, 23 10

2. Anthony Riley, DeMatha, 2,036, 25 11

3. Umar Ferguson, Einstein, 2,012, 29 10

4. Steve Matthews, Catonsville, 2,009, 18 10

5. Rayvon Johnson, Annapolis, 1,984, 27 11

6. Marvin McLean, West Nottingham, 1,858, 21 8

7. Dennis Hardy, Easton, 1,748, 23 10

8. Steve Suter, North Carroll, 1,744, 22 10

9. Serge Tikum, Bullis, 1,740, 15 9

10. Terry Caulley, Patuxent, 1,693, 21 10

11. Marcus Whalen, Thomas Stone, 1,688, 16 11

12. Darren Johnson, Arch. Spalding, 1,683, 16 10

13. Kelvin Collins, Old Mill, 1,656, 22 11

14. Raymond Custis, Northwest, 1,490, 18 11

15. Tony Smithson, Patterson, 1,483, 25 11

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