Arundel's football team is on the same path that Broadneck was a year ago. To get to the Class 4A state championship game at M&T Bank Stadium means going through Suitland of Prince George's County in the state semifinals.
The Wildcats will travel to Suitland in District Heights for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday in a matchup of 12-0 teams. The Rams, who are on a 25-game winning streak, seek their second straight state title and third in four years.
No. 4 Arundel advanced with a 49-20 victory over then-No. 6 Broadneck (9-3), as senior linebacker Mike Inyang had two interceptions and returned a fumble for a touchdown, and quarterback Nick Elko tossed four touchdown passes to tie the state public school record with 38 touchdown passes in a single season.
Suitland, ranked third in the Washington area, returned to the state semifinals by outlasting Parkdale, 15-14. Cornerback James Proctor made several big plays, and Carlos Fields tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass to Yanni Davis with eight minutes left.
A year ago, Broadneck went into Suitland for a 4A state semifinal, but the Bruins' furious fourth-period rally fell short in a 28-26 loss. The Rams went on to upset Sherwood, 39-38 in overtime, in the 4A final.
"It doesn't matter where we play," said Arundel coach Chuck Markiewicz, who is one of three Anne Arundel football coaches to win a state title and was the last to do it in 1994, with North County. "We're just glad to be playing at this time of the year. I'll go anywhere. I don't care as long as we're still playing."
Arundel is in the state semifinals for the first time since 1983 and is shooting for its first state final since 1979. The Wildcats won a state championship in 1975.
In 1994, when North County won the last state title by an Anne Arundel team, it came at Annapolis High's Al Laramore Field, because Maryland's Byrd Stadium (then the annual site ) was being renovated. Laramore led Annapolis to a state title in 1978. ... Two returning All-County girls basketball players, South River's Jaclyn Nucci (Player of the Year) and Arundel's Simone Egwu are also outstanding students, with 3.8 and 4.6 grade point averages, respectively. ... Annapolis wrestler Bubby Graham, who is headed to American University, is moving up from 152 pounds to 160 in his senior year as he strives to extend his 61-match winning streak. ... The 12th Annual Baltimore Touchdown Club All-Star football game, pitting Metro (players from Carroll, Frederick, Harford and Howard counties) vs. Baltimore (Baltimore City, Anne Arundel and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association), is set for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at McDaniel College in Westminster. Admission is $5.