River Hill 12th year coach Brian Van Deusen, on Aberdeen:

"Watching a lot of tape on Aberdeen, they're tough, very athletic, very balanced run/pass. They're probably the best passing team we've seen this year. We've got to get some pressure on the quarterback and make sure our coverage is down and try to shut down No. 4 (Carpenter), he's a pretty special player."

On WR/DB Christian Carpenter, who has gotten looks from West Virginia and Syracuse:

"He's 6'2", 185, pretty good height and very athletic, very quick, good jumping ability.  He goes up and gets the ball. A lot of fade passes, a lot of post passes, so we can't give the quarterback time to sit back there and find him. We've got to get after the quarterback and give him some different looks in the coverage."

On River Hill's pass rushers:

Linemen "Jason (Johnson) and Logan Kirby and Alec Rau have been doing real well and with our linebackers (Stephan Osong, Emmett Brew, Davis Grove, Riley Davis and Ryan Higgins) we're blitzing usually two of those guys every play so we get pressure from different angles and try to confuse the line or give them different looks and mix it up."

On Aberdeen QB Kenny Faulcon:

"I've been very impressed with him. He's a big kid, strong arm, he's got a presence in the pocket, and he's able to sit back there and make plays. He's also pretty good on his feet so when he does get pressure, he's able to get out there and make some plays running the ball. He's done a nice job for them."

On how Aberdeen compares to some other Howard County teams:

"They're mostly an I-team, so in our league we see a lot of I between Hebron and Glenelg probably and Hammond, but as far as the balance that they have we don't really see that. Most of our teams in our county are either all pass or all run, (Aberdeen is) almost 50/50 as far as yardage, so that makes them tougher to defend. They've thrown for almost 2,000 yards. Atholton threw for probably just over 1,000 but I guess our county this year was more of a running county."

On recovering from a mid-season two-game slide to Atholton and Hammond:

"We got off to a rough start. We knew we were going to have a pretty good team, but we got banged up, we had six starters out for a couple of games and the turnovers, you can't make turnovers and mistakes against good teams. We had a tough early part of the season with Reservoir and Long Reach and Atholton and Hammond and then Wilde Lake, so we were able to recover from those losses and get back on track and just keep that focus on improving. We've done that, and we've been playing well the last eight games so hopefully we can keep that going."

On securing home-field advantage in the state semifinals even after finishing the regular season 8-2:

"We didn't really see that coming but fortunately Damascus and Seneca Valley, originally, and North Harford lost, so we were able to jump into that No. 2 seed. Anytime we can get another game at home it's great. With this week and Thanksgiving and the day off of school (Aberdeen) can leave plenty early, and not having school that day makes it a little easier on them, but I'd certainly prefer to play at home, just that normal routine."