State football championships

High Schools

December 10, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec

State football championships

Today

No. 11 Joppatowne (7-5) vs. Beall (10-3)

Class: 1A

Where: M&T Bank Stadium

Time: 4:30 p.m.

Admission: $8

Outlook: This game, which was originally scheduled for last Saturday, will be won at the line of scrimmage as both teams come in with powerful running games. For Beall, of Allegany County, Mahlon Harper is the standout. Harper has rushed for 1,568 yards and 26 touchdowns in a wishbone offense. But the Mountaineers, who have won five straight games, have other rushing threats, Cody Miller (545 yards and 6 TDs) and QB Eric Parker (497 yards and 3 TDs). Senior Brent Cash (1,731 yards, 24 TDs) leads Joppatowne's power-I offense, which also gets a boost from QB Anthony Preston (682 yards, 8 TDs). The Mariners' starting defense, led by defensive end Jeremy Navarre and linebacker Eric Hamburg, has played well of late. Aside from slowing Harper, Mariner coach Greg Komondor's chief concern is the Mountaineers' big-game experience. Beall has been to the state finals three times in the past 10 years, including last year, but has yet to win a state title. Joppatowne reached this plateau two years ago in Class 2A but came up short in its bid to win the program's first state crown since 1975. Both Beall and Joppatowne lost to John Carroll, while the Mountaineers defeated Catoctin, which beat the Mariners in Week 2. However, the Mariners are a different team since their 0-2 start.

No. 4 Aberdeen (11-1) vs. Potomac (12-1)

Class: 2A

Where: M&T Bank Stadium

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Admission: $8

Outlook: Two weeks ago, Aberdeen's challenge was slowing South Carroll's record-setting QB, T.J. Swanson. This week, in their bid for the program's first state football title, the Eagles will need to contain Harold Dorman, the fleet-footed, strong-armed quarterback from Prince George's County. In the Wolverines' victory over then-No. 1 Eastern Tech two weeks ago, Dorman, who has three receivers with more than 500 yards each, was 0-for-3 passing in wet and windy conditions. But Dorman has still thrown for 2,162 yards and 23 touchdowns and rushed for nearly 600 yards and 8 TDs. The Eagles, Harford County co-champs, will need defensive tackles Shawn Lewis and Cam Stokes and linebackers Erin Henderson and Carl Stokes to apply constant pressure on the Potomac QB and limit the Wolverines' big plays. On offense, Eagles QB Henderson (1,465 passing and 17 TDs and 897 rushing and 8 TDs) is the key. He sprained an ankle in the victory over the Cavaliers, but last Saturday's weather-related postponement has given him more time to heal. If Henderson is not 100 percent, Aberdeen will lean on running backs Lewis (501 yards, 7 TDs), Avery Willie (410 yards, 6 TDs) and Carl Stokes (786 yards, 11 TDs). This is Potomac's first state championship berth since 1995, while Aberdeen was 0-6 in playoff games before this year.

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