In football, a new No. 1 game

Notebook

October 19, 2005|By PAT O'MALLEY | PAT O'MALLEY,SUN REPORTER

Annapolis-Severna Park appears to have replaced Broadneck-Old Mill as the county's top football rivalry in terms of the league race and playoffs.

No. 15 Annapolis and No. 13 Severna Park, both Class 3A teams, have gained elite status in the county after several years of dominance by Class 4A teams Broadneck and Old Mill.

The shift in power is the result of a pair of upsets Friday, and the Panthers visit the Falcons at 7:15 p.m. this Friday with the two teams tied for first place as they renew the county's oldest rivalry.

Both were unranked and home last Friday as Severna Park upset then-No. 3 Old Mill, 28-17, and Annapolis outlasted then-No. 9 Arundel, 34-25, as the two victors avenged losses from 2004 against their respective opponents.

The results left Annapolis and Severna Park both at 4-0 in Anne Arundel league play and 5-1 overall, with Old Mill slipping to 5-1, league and overall, and Arundel to 4-2, 4-2.

Adding to the league suspense, Northeast (1-5, 1-5) won its first game, a stunning 8-6 decision over then-No. 13 and defending county and regional champ Broadneck.

The loss all but knocked the Bruins (3-3, 3-3) out of the county league race for the first time since 1999 and jeopardized their bid for a sixth straight playoff berth.

Annapolis awaits at Severna Park's Roberts Field on Friday night as the two teams meet for the 47th time in 46 years (they met in the playoffs in 1987).

Not only can one of the two teams take over sole possession of first place in the league, but the winner can gain the upper hand in the Class 3A East region playoff picture.

Severna Park is seeking its third consecutive Class 3A playoff berth under J.P. Hines, and Annapolis, under Brian Brown, is looking for its first since 1999 when Roy Brown (no relation) led the Panthers to a county-record sixth straight.

Annapolis leads the series at 23-20-3, including last year's 13-7 upset of the Falcons to avenge a 21-0 loss in 2003 that was Severna Park's first win in the series since 1997.

The Panthers' wing T offense has outscored the opposition, 163-86, an average of 27.1 points a game, with Damien Kinchen (472 rushing yards, eight touchdowns) and Erol Silva leading the way. But Annapolis can also throw with quarterback Matt Vollono (493 yards and six touchdowns) passing to Tony Henson and Justin Weston.

Severna Park's multi-scheme defense - led by linebacker Mark Otto, cornerback Dave Horn, down linemen Lewis Spadaro and Mark Hepburn and defensive back Chris Hunt - will be ready for the challenge. The Falcons have outscored their opponents, 139-81, with their defense setting the tempo.

Big volleyball match

The county's top and most intense volleyball rivalry resumes at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow as No. 8 Severna Park (8-2) visits No. 3 Broadneck (7-2). One of the two has won the county championship every year since it began in 1995 except last season.

Through last week, both of the perennial county powers were 7-0 in the county.

Arundel upset Broadneck, 3-2, in last year's county championship, the first played without Severna Park as one of the two teams. The Falcons had dealt Broadneck its only regular-season loss, 3-2, but lost to Arundel in five games as the Wildcats advanced to the county final.

Host Broadneck boasts veteran senior setter Stephanie Carey, who is considered the county's best, senior power hitters Kanisha Sheppard and Nikki Wirth and sophomore Ali Malesick. They are back from last year's Class 4A state champions.

Severna Park will counter with senior hitters Ashlee Allen, Jessica Lund and Devin Howle and constantly improving junior setter Jackie Sabins.

Quick hits

Some of the credit for what might have been the largest crowd ever to watch a football game at Severna Park on Friday night, as the Falcons upset Old Mill on homecoming, goes to Larry Sells. Sells, who is the president of the Falcon Athletic Boosters and the public address announcer at the games, led a rousing pep rally Friday afternoon at the school. ...

The 15th Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame induction/dinner will be held tonight at Michael's Eighth Avenue with Steve Wojciechowski (basketball), Dickie Connolly (softball), Pat Chance (girls basketball) and Eric Reid (track) to be enshrined. ...

Arundel High will recognize its 1975 state football champions (one of only three county teams to win a state football title) at halftime of the Wildcats' 7:15 p.m. game vs. North County on Oct. 28. Former players are asked to call 410-674-6500, ext. 207, to confirm they're attending.

patomalleysports@aol.com

Numbers game

10 -- Saves by Marian Cassilly to give No. 5 Archbishop Spalding a 1-1 tie with No. 3 Roland Park in a key IAAM A Conference field hockey game Friday. Cassilly also has eight shutouts.

20 -- Consecutive regular-season games in which Old Mill running back Ryan Callahan has scored at least one touchdown. It also is the number of 100-yard rushing games in his three-year, 28-game career.

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