Six local football teams set for state semifinal games

Broadneck, Dunbar, Eastern Tech, Franklin, Havre de Grace and Wilde Lake all have championship aspirations

November 25, 2010|By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

State Football Semifinals

Class 4A

No. 3 Broadneck (10-2) at Wise (11-1)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Coaches: Jeff Herrick, Broadneck; DeLawn Parrish, Wise

Last meeting: First meeting

Key players to watch

Broadneck — James Mullis, Sr., QB (46-for-112 passing for 1,000 yards, eight TDs; 202 carries for 715 yards, 15 TDs), Nick Ochoa, Sr., LB (94 tackles, six sacks)

Wise — Uriah Bethea, Jr., RB (182 carries, 1,454 yards, school-record 24 TDs), Rayshaud Shields, Sr., LB (98 tackles, three INTs — all touchdowns)

Keys to victory

Both teams will be happy to play someone outside their home counties for the first time this season. The Bruins knocked out defending 4A state champion Old Mill before rallying to beat Arundel, 39-28, with 22 points in the last 6:56 in the final of one of the toughest regions in the state. The Pumas, who lost to Old Mill in last year's title game, topped Eleanor Roosevelt, 30-13, in their regional final. Look for a running offense from both teams. Defense and special teams will be critical for the Bruins, who are looking for their second trip to the state final and their first state championship.

Class 3A

Huntingtown (9-3) at No. 6 Franklin (10-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Coaches: Anthony Burgos, Franklin; Jerry Franks, Huntingtown

Last meeting: First meeting

Key players to watch

Franklin — Mark Venable, Sr., RB/LB (147 carries for 927 yards, 10 TDs, 134 tackles, two INTs); Joey Dorsey, Sr., QB (98-for-186 passing for 1,902 yards, 19 TDs)

Huntingtown — Davonte Fletcher Jr., RB (202 carries for 1,355 yards, 12 TDs), Andrew Bose Sr., RB/LB (102 carries for 824 yards, 23 TDs; 99 tackles)

Keys to victory

Both teams have been road warriors the past two weeks, coming away with upset victories, but the Indians are happy to be back home. Still, the Hurricanes know how to win on the road and they are surely motivated after falling to Linganore in the state final a year ago. Franklin will need to play tough defense and it wouldn't hurt to break a couple of those big plays they're known for, such as Venable's 26-yard run that set up Dorsey's 1-yard keeper for the game winner with five seconds left to upset then-No. 7 and undefeated North Harford last week, 28-21.

No. 9 Wilde Lake (9-3) at Damascus (12-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Coaches: Michael Harrison, Wilde Lake; Eric Wallich, Damascus

Last meeting: Damascus, 35-6, 2007 state semifinals

Key players to watch

Wilde Lake — Khalil Viera, Sr., RB (132 carries for 982 yards eight TDs), Antoine Barnes Jr., LB (76 tackles, 3 INTs)

Damascus — Connor Frazier, Sr. QB (141-for-204 passing for 1,977 yards, 21 TDs), Mark O'Hara, Sr., RB (145 carries for 809 yards, 13 TDs)

Keys to victory

The Wildecats drew the short straw in the playoff seedings and travel to meet the state's No. 1 team. The teams have 12 state titles between them, but the Swarmin' Hornets have won two 4As and a 3A since 2003, while the Wildecats won the last of their five titles in 1997. The Wildecats' superb defense allowed just two touchdowns in regional playoff wins over Howard County foes Atholton and River Hill, but the Hornets average 33.6 points. Wilde Lake will need a big defensive effort and an error-free ball control offense that keeps Frazier and company off the field as much as possible.

Class 2 A

Eastern Tech (11-1) at Middletown (11-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Coaches: Marc Mesaros, Eastern Tech; Kevin Lynott, Middletown

Last meeting: First meeting

Key players to watch

Eastern Tech — Dan McManus, Sr., OG/DT (80 tackles, 11 sacks), Brad Hager, Sr., QB/FS (45-for-93 passing for 695 yards, 16 TDs)

Middletown — Sam Michels, Sr., RB (218 carries for 1,438 yards, 18 TDs), Michael Pritts, Jr., QB (79-for-122 passing for 1,301 yards, 17 TDs)

Keys to victory

The Mavericks allow just 10.2 points per game, giving up six in their two regional games, and they will rely on that defense to earn a shot at their second straight state championship. The entire offense has gained 3,232 yards this season, while just Michels and Pritts have gained nearly that much yardage for the Knights. Mesaros said his defense will have to be wary of that offense, which that can score in a lot of ways. The Mavericks, who have a balanced running attack, can't afford to fall behind as they did against City before finally rallying to win with less than three minutes to go in the game.

Class 1A

Fort Hill (9-3) vs. No. 12 Dunbar (11-1)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where: Poly

Coaches: Lawrence Smith, Dunbar; Todd Appel, Fort Hill

Last meeting: Dunbar, 20-19, 2008 state Class 1A championship

Key players to watch

Dunbar — DeonTay McManus, Jr., WR/FS (22 receptions for 309 yards, five TDs; 78 tackles, four INTs), Travon Garrett, Sr., TE/LB (15 catches for 299 yards, four TDs; 137 tackles, three INTs)

Fort Hill — Garrett Clay, Jr., HB/DB (171 carries for 1,317 yards, 19 TDs; 35 tackles, three INTs); Dylan Clay, Jr., SE/DE (62 carries for 506 yards, 13 catches 240 yards, 8 TDs)

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