Today's Games

December 08, 2007|By PAT O'MALLEY

Class 1A state final

Matchup -- No. 2 Dunbar (13-0) vs. Allegany (13-0)

Site -- M&T Bank Stadium

Time -- Noon

How they got here -- Dunbar def. Forestville, 66-28; def. Surrat sville, 28-6; def. South Carroll, 34-8. Allegany def. Boonsboro, 49-19; def. Fort Hill, 28-7; def. Joppatowne, 27-21.

State titles -- Dunbar 4 (1994, 1995, 2004, 2006), Allegany 8 (1978, 1980, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1991, 2001, 2005).

Dunbar offense vs. Allegany defense -- The Poets' multiple I set has averaged 42.7 points per game in three playoff wins, slightly above their 40.8 per game over 13 games, in extending their winning streak to 23 games. And the Poets have done it with and without prolific junior run ning back Tavon Austin, whose 89 ca reer touchdowns are a state record. Austin missed most of the Poets' semifinal victory over South Carroll, so QB Jonathan Perry picked up the slack and threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns. Austin will play, and that gives the Poets an arsenal of weapons to dissect the Campers' 6-2 defense and its front that averages 230 pounds per man.

Allegany offense vs. Dunbar defense -- During the playoffs, Al legany has scored 34.7 points per game, slightly below its season aver age of 40 points per game. Its wing T is guided by Division I QB prospect Travis Orange (14 TD passes) and fea tures RB Jake Twigg (25 TDs). Dunbar has given up 14 points a game in the postseason with its 3-3-5 scheme. It will be interesting to see whether Ho race Miller, Kenyon Kinnard and Matt Odezugo, who have 41 sacks among them, can penetrate what figures to be the best and biggest offensive line they have faced this season.

Special teams -- Dunbar has the clear edge in returning kicks and punts with Austin, who is a threat from any spot on the field. His long est kickoff return is 83 yards and longest punt return is 85.

The Sun's pick -- Dunbar, 33-14

Class 2A state final

Matchup -- No. 6 Eastern Tech (13-0) vs. No. 1 River Hill (13-0)

Site -- M&T Bank Stadium

Time -- 3:30

How they got here -- Eastern Tech def. Poly, 20-12; def. Edmond son, 27-0; def. Clarksburg, 35-0. River Hill def. McDonough, 34-0; def. Patux ent, 35-0; def. Elkton, 28-0.

State titles -- Neither has won a state title.

Eastern Tech offense vs. Riv er Hill defense -- Tech's wing T that has amassed more 3,200 rushing yards this season and averaged 27.3 points in three postseason wins, will go against the best defense it has played this season. The Hawks' 3-5 defense is quick, athletic, smart and hard-hitting, with Zach Martin as the centerpiece. Those attributes are the reason the Hawks have 11 shutouts, and one more shutout would set a state single-season record. They have five shutouts in a row, the past three in the playoffs, and have given up a mere 14 points in 13 games. It will be the best defense the Mavericks have seen.

River Hill offense vs. East ern Tech defense -- River Hill employs a run-first spread that has an unprecedented three 1,000-yard rushers, who have combined for nearly 4,500 yards. Each runs 4.6 or better in the 40-yard dash. Michael Campanaro, Zach Martin and Malek Redd form the Hawks' productive trio. The Mavericks' 5-2 defense has shut out its past two foes in the play offs and will need to play its best game of the season if its team is to win. Tech has a cumulative 25 inter ceptions, so forcing the Hawks to pass could help their cause.

Special teams -- Both teams have punters who average about 35 yards per punt in the Hawks' Patrick McCleaf and the Mavs' David Spalt. The Mavs have the edge in place-kick ing. Give the Hawks the edge on re turns with Campanaro and Redd, who are more likely to go the distance.

The Sun's pick -- River Hill, 21-0

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