Coach Reggie White calls him "a ball of fire," and there's no doubt Rashod Underwood has burned a lot of teams.
The flashy, 5-foot-10, 185-pounder plays running back, strong safety and kicker for Milford Mill, and he plays each of those positions well.
"Rashod's been our player of the week for at least three games. He's done everything for us," White said of Underwood, who leads the Millers (9-1) into this weekend's Class 2A North regional playoffs as the No. 1 seed against No. 4 seed Eastern Tech (6-4), the only team to defeat Milford Mill.
The Millers will play the Mavericks as the home team at Woodlawn High on Saturday.
"There was one game where he had three interceptions, and another game where he dropped three," White said of Underwood, who has a team-high six interceptions. "With Rashod, there's never a lack of effort or intensity."
Born in Baltimore, Underwood spent three years in football-rich Fort Myers, Fla., before returning to the area as a Milford Mill freshman.
It was in the Fort Myers Pop Warner leagues that Underwood's nose for the ball became apparent. As an eighth-grader, the 125-pound nose guard averaged more than five sacks and nearly 10 behind-the-line tackles.
"I just felt like it was a fun position because you're right where the action is," said Underwood, now 17, whose favorite player is the Baltimore Ravens' Ed Reed.
"When I came to Milford, I was put out at cornerback. It was different, but it was about humbling myself to play any position. I love my team and my teammates because everybody does his part."
And on a team that has such players as lightning-quick receivers Brandon McDonald and Joe Embree, and speedy Rodney Webb, Underwood's offensive backfield mate, the Florida transfer has come into his own.
Underwood picked off three passes in a 19-10 victory over Baltimore County 2A-1A rival New Town on Oct. 10, but his best performance came in the Millers' come-from-behind, 35-21 triumph at league power Hereford on Nov. 4
Against Hereford, Underwood recorded two rushing touchdowns, returned his own blocked punt for another touchdown, ran for a two-point conversion and kicked three extra points to help the Millers rebound from the previous week's loss to Eastern Tech.
And in last week's 20-19 win over visiting county rival Randallstown, Underwood had two sacks.
New Town's Douglas McNeil, a 6-4, 190-pounder, is headed for Virginia Tech on a football scholarship as a receiver prospect.
McNeil, however, also led a New Town defense that posted five shutouts. He had nine tackles in Friday's season-ending, 33-12 rout of Sparrows Point, as the second-year varsity Titans finished at 5-5.
"It's going to be hard to replace a talent like Doug," coach Richard Stichel Jr. said.
When Baltimore City League Division I champion Patterson (9-1) visits Baltimore County 4A-3A League titlist Perry Hall (10-0) for Friday night's Class 4A North regional semifinal, and Catonsville (8-2) of the county travels to Carver (10-0) of the city on Saturday, the games will mark the 16th and 17th times that county teams have met city teams since the latter joined the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association in 1993.
The county leads the series, 9-6. Last year, Patterson blew out Dulaney, 28-7, and Perry Hall, 50-18, to win the regional crown.
In last year's 2A North regional, Hereford blanked Edmondson, 35-0, and Eastern Tech routed Poly, 50-0.
Perry Hall senior Jon Graf went unbeaten for the second consecutive season and won his second straight Baltimore County badminton title, his coach, Clark Adelman, reported.
A 4.0 student who ranks No. 1 in his class, Graf is considering Maryland and Delaware for college and will likely major in engineering, according to his coach. Graf also started at shortstop on the Gators' baseball team last spring.
Filip Kisdobranski scored 18 goals in three matches, including eight in Calvert Hall's 12-11, Eastern Prep School water polo championship game-victory over host Lawrenceville (N.J.) for the Cardinals' 12th straight win.
Kisdobranski, a 6-2, 210-pounder, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, and Zack Anderson scored seven goals for the Cardinals (23-2), winners of five straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association titles.
Joe Lennon, who plays quarterback for Loyola, will attend the Naval Academy, where he will also play lacrosse.
Lennon is among several Dons who will play lacrosse in college, including Casey Creaney (Maryland), Pat Harrington (Colgate), Pat Hutchinson (Denver), John Kelly (Pennsylvania), Mike Kimmel (Johns Hopkins) and Matt Schroeder (Muhlenberg).
Towson's Claire Hubbard has signed to play lacrosse at Stanford while teammate Megan Cook has signed with UMBC and Garrison Forest's Margo Josephs, with Penn State.
Woodlawn basketball player Kim Carr has signed with Northeastern. Catonsville softball pitcher Amanda Fefel signed with UMBC.