Area playoff teams seek redemption for 2002

Most made early exits

29 local squads in '03 mix

Football notebook

High schools

November 10, 2003|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Can local teams avoid last year's early postseason mass exodus when the regional football playoffs begin this weekend?

Area teams will try not to replicate last season's playoff woes, when 12 of an area-record 14 playoff squads lost in the first or quarterfinal round.

Under the old format, which called for a 32-team field (eight teams in four classifications), only Hereford and Edmondson escaped the first round to reach the state semifinals.

Hereford defeated Edmondson and went on to win the 2A crown.

This season, there are 29 local teams entering the postseason under the new expansion format, which allows for a 64-team field. In each of the four classes there are 16 teams (four in each region).

Four of this year's regional playoffs are made up exclusively of local squads. Those regions are the Class 4A North, 4A East, 3A North and 2A North.

Rematches

Four of next week's regional semifinal matchups put teams against each other for the second time this season.

In 4A East, No. 2 Broadneck (10-0) plays host to No. 13 Arundel (7-3) in a rematch of the Bruins' controversial, 17-14 victory.

In their first meeting, Arundel's Bryan Jones was ruled to have missed a 27-yard field-goal attempt with 45 seconds left. Both Jones and his coach, Chuck Markiewicz, questioned the call.

In 3A North, Bel Air (6-3) hopes for a replay of its earlier 28-6 win over Dundalk (5-5). In that game, the Bobcats' Andrew Berry threw touchdowns to his twin brother, Adam, and teammate Willie Bell.

In 2A West, No. 5 South Carroll (9-1) again faces Walkersville (7-3), which it defeated, 35-16, earlier on the strength of T. J. Swanson's 305 passing yards, four touchdowns passes and 27-yard rushing score.

In 2A East, Aberdeen (8-1) plays host to Harford County League rival Edgewood (6-3). Aberdeen defeated Edgewood, 26-24, on a fourth-quarter, 10-yard run by Carl Stokes that was set up by a 55-yard run by Maryland-bound quarterback-linebacker Erin Henderson.

City-County rivalry

When city public schools joined the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association in 1993, it not only provided an opportunity to compete in the playoffs against teams statewide, but also raised interest in rivalries between Baltimore City and Baltimore County schools.

Next weekend's regional semifinals offer three city-county matchups: In 4A North, No. 3 Woodlawn (9-1) of the county plays host to Lake Clifton (6-2), and No. 15 Patterson (8-2) of the city plays host to Perry Hall (7-3). The winners meet the following weekend for the 4A North Region crown.

In 2A North, Poly (9-1) of the city plays host to 10th-ranked Hereford (8-2).

Baltimore County leads the postseason series 4-3.

Proven records

Hereford's ninth-year coach Steve Turnbaugh (94-12 career) has his Bulls in the playoffs for the eighth straight year, having reached the state semifinals seven times and won three state titles - including the past two 2A crowns. The Bulls are 13-4 in the playoffs.

Next week, Turnbaugh faces a Poly team coached by Anthony Knox (42-12 career). In five years as a head coach, Knox has taken teams to the playoffs four times. He won two Baltimore County titles at Randallstown and, in his first season at Poly, this year's Baltimore City Division I title.

First-timers

Baltimore County's Patapsco (3A North) and Western Tech (2A North), and Baltimore City's W.E.B. DuBois are all in the playoffs for the first time in school history.

By the numbers

The number of local state qualifiers by district: Nine from Baltimore County; five each from Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City and Harford County; four from Howard County; one from Carroll County.

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