Regional football finals

High Schools

November 21, 2003|By Rick Belz, Pat O'Malley, Lem Satterfield, Rich Scherr, Jeff Zrebiec


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

Region: Class 4A East

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Defense and a strong kicking game complement an offense that commits few turnovers, giving the Bruins an excellent chance against their Charles County opponent. The Bruins have won two postseason games in six appearances, and a victory would tie the county record for wins in a season set by the 1978 Annapolis (12-0) state champion. Chris Desautels, who kicked a county-record 10 field goals in the regular season, kicked his 11th, from 39 yards, in Friday's 17-14 win over Arundel. Punter Dan Rosenblum is accomplished at kicking to spots or out of bounds to prevent returns. QB Tony Marino, who has thrown for 1,022 yards and nine TDs, has only been intercepted three times and sophomore RB Brandon Johnson (1,125 yards, 12 TDs) takes time of the clock. Thomas Stone, which eliminated Old Mill, 21-7, likes to run the ball, but opponents have not been successful doing that against the Bruins. Both teams only gave up about 5 points a game.

Bel Air (7-3) vs. No. 7 Randallstown (9-2)

Region: Class 3A North

Site: CCBC-Catonsville

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Harford County's Bel Air advanced to face its second straight Baltimore County team with a 48-0 thumping of Dundalk last week. Dundalk, which the Rams beat, 30-6, two weeks ago, is the only common opponent. Tonight's game features an intriguing matchup between a Bel Air offense that loves to put the ball in the air and a Randallstown defense that loves to take it away. The Bobcats' smooth left-handed QB, Andrew Berry, has thrown for 1,372 yards and 20 TDS in 10 games. He has thrown just four interceptions on 152 attempts, while spreading the ball around to his twin brother, Adam Berry (35 catches for 626 yards and 10 TDs) and Willie Bell (38 catches for 590 yards, 8 TDs). The Rams' defense is led by future Maryland Terrapin Christian Varner (6 interceptions and 2 TD returns), Jamari McCollough (4 interceptions and 2 TD returns) and Efren Edwards (117 tackles).

No. 8 Hereford (9-2) vs. No. 1 Eastern Tech (11-0)

Region: Class 2A North

Site: CCBC-Essex

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: The Hereford Bulls "had one foot in the grave," according to coach Steve Turnbaugh, after their 24-0 regular-season loss to Eastern Tech. "Everything was a must-win or we were sitting at home." The Bulls have since won seven straight to earn their eighth straight state semifinal appearance. The Bulls' defense of DE Billy Rueter, DL-OL Joe Akers, DL Juan Pretorius and DB Ray Wittelsberger has six shutouts. Eastern Tech, however, boasts a 17-game winning streak, led by RB Dietrich Wright (26 TDs), who needs two scores to tie the Maryland record for career touchdowns (86) held by Georgetown Prep's Marcus Mason. The Mavericks, with their sixth playoff berth, have seven shutouts this year (10 during their winning streak). Eastern Tech also features QB Josh Hager (27-0 as a starter), WR-DB Tom Farmer (10 INTs) and DLs Greg Pinkney and Wayne Martin, who have seven and five sacks, respectively.

Stephen Decatur (10-1) at No. 9 Aberdeen (9-1)

Region: Class 2A East

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Aberdeen, the Harford County co-champ, has won seven straight, but the Eagles should have their hands full with the Seahawks, out of Worcester County. Stephen Decatur has won nine straight, including a 60-22 romp over J.M. Bennett in the regional semifinals last week. Relying heavily on a powerful running attack that features Ronnie Shockley, who had six touchdowns (four running, one catching and one fumble return) last week, Stephen Decatur averages 36 points a game and allows about 11. However, the Seahawks' defense will have to deal with Aberdeen's triple-option offense, which is orchestrated by senior quarterback Erin Henderson, who has totaled 2,025 yards of total offense and been a part of 16 touchdowns. Henderson has shown the ability to beat teams with his arm, but is also backed by powerful running backs Carl Stokes (594 yards, 9 TDS) and Shawn Lewis (410 yards, 6 TDs).

North Hagerstown (11-0) at No. 4 South Carroll (10-1)

Region: Class 2A West

Time: 7 p.m.

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