Football

December 03, 2007|By PAT O'MALLEY

Football

State finals (all at M&T Bank Stadium)

No. 5 Hereford (13-0) vs. Damascus (12-1) Thursday, Class 3A, 7 p.m. The Swarmin' Hornets have the edge on both sides of the football. Their defense has yielded only 9.5 points a game, while the Bulls have accumulated 590 points. Damascus' defensive front averages 231 pounds and should create problems for Hereford. Offensively, the Swarmin' Hornets, who average 36.9 points, will be the most-balanced team the Bulls have seen this season. SUN PICK: DAMASCUS, 28-7.

No. 4 Arundel (13-0) vs. Quince Orchard (13-0) Friday, Class 4A, 7 p.m. Playing in their first state final since 1979, the Wildcats, who won a state title in 1975, are facing the No. 1 team in the Washington area in the Cougars. Quince Orchard also has one state title to its credit, coming in 1991. The Wildcats' no-huddle spread offense will give the Cougars some problems, possibly early, but Quince Orchard's defensive front has four Division I prospects and good size and could wear down Arundel's interior line. SUN PICK: QUINCE ORCHARD, 27-14.

No. 2 Dunbar (13-0) vs. Allegany (13-0) Saturday, Class 1A, noon Tavon Austin was injured in the first quarter of the Poets' 34-8 semifinal victory over South Carroll on Saturday. Austin is expected back for the final, but even if he is not 100 percent, QB Jonathan Perry and his teammates can put up enough points to repeat as state champions. The eight-time state champion Campers eliminated No. 13 Joppatowne, 27-21, in the other semifinal. The desire to win the title for late coach Ben Eaton gives Dunbar the edge. SUN PICK: DUNBAR, 33-14.

No. 6 Eastern Tech (13-0) vs. No. 1 River Hill (13-0) Saturday, Class 2A, 3:30 p.m. What a matchup: Both teams are undefeated and never have won a state title. Assuming that linebacker Zach Martin, who sprained his left ankle in the Hawks' 28-0 rout of Elkton on Friday, plays, River Hill could set a state record for shutouts at 12. The Mavericks' forte is running the football (more than 3,200 yards), something opponents have not been able to do against the Hawks, who have given up a total of 14 points this season. Malek Redd has scored 20 touchdowns. Look for a close game until the final quarter. SUN PICK: RIVER HILL, 21-0.

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