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SportsHigh School Sports

Football Defensive Players of the Year: Micah Kiser, Gilman, linebacker, senior and Henry Poggi, Gilman, lineman, senior

FootballUnder Armour Inc.

Micah Kiser

Gilman, linebacker, senior

Henry Poggi

Gilman, lineman, senior

Opponents found it exceptionally difficult to run on the Greyhounds with Kiser and Poggi clogging up the middle.

Coaches needed at least a double team to contain the 6-foot-4, 258-pound Poggi at tackle, and it was tough to counter 6-2, 227-pound middle linebacker Kiser with one player.

They fed off each other in leading a defense that allowed just 8.1 points per game, as the No. 1 Greyhounds (9-2) went undefeated against Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference competition to win their second straight championship.

"Henry and Micah are such a force of nature, it's almost impossible to run the football against us," Gilman coach Biff Poggi, Henry's father, said. "When Calvert Hall played us the first time, they threw 44 times and ran nine, which is unheard of in our league. You have to pick your poison. You've got to double team Henry, and you've got to send at least a man and a half at Micah, so right there you've got guys open."

Kiser, who is headed for Virginia, and Poggi, who is committed to Michigan, are both repeat All-Metro first-team selections.

For three years, Kiser has been the defensive quarterback. A fierce run stopper and a strong pass defender, he made a handful of game-changing plays, including an interception returned for a touchdown in the 13-6 win over Don Bosco Prep (N.J.). He finished with 111 tackles (11 for a loss), three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, and he returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns.

Poggi, who also played tight end, was the most schemed against player his father had ever coached. His size, strength and power helped him fight off the double teams and he had 14 1/2 sacks, 87 tackles (31 for a loss), 31 pressures and three forced fumbles.

"We had two guys who kind of dictated to the offense and I've never had that … and that was a heck of an advantage," Biff Poggi said.

They will both play in national all-star games on Jan. 4 -- Kiser in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Carson, Calif., and Poggi in the Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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