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Capsules for Maryland state football semifinals

State semifinals

Quince Orchard (11-1) at No. 3 Westminster (12-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Class: 4A

Coaches: Dave Mencarini, Quince Orchard; Brad Wilson, Westminster

Outlook: The Owls' high-flying offense, led by QB Deryk Kern and his state-record 61 touchdown and near state-record 3,612 yards passing, will try to take down a third straight Montgomery County team when they face last year's state runner-up. The Cougars and Nebraska-bound LB Marcus Newby have allowed just 70 points this season while the Owls have scored 544. The Owls, who aim for their first state title, have a versatile offense with four speedy receivers, including Garrett Bean and Bradley Metcalf (40 catches, more than 900 yards and 18 touchdowns each) and durable RB Dan Johnson, who ran for 227 of his season total 781 yards in last week's regional final. The Cougars, who won the last of their two state titles in 2007, can do a little bit of everything, too, and have 15 players with at least one touchdown.

No. 5 Meade (10-2) at Wise (12-0)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Class: 4A

Coaches: Rich Holzer, Meade; DeLawn Parrish, Wise

Outlook: The Mustangs have pulled off three straight upsets, but beating Wise would be the biggest upset of all. The Pumas are the highest ranked public school team in the state media poll, No. 3 after Good Counsel and Gilman. They have eight shutouts, have allowed just 37 points and win by an average of 38.2 points. One of the biggest challenges for the Mustangs will be to try to neutralize Wise's huge defensive line with their speed and try to confuse the Pumas with different looks. Pumas DE-LB Myles Humphrey has 23 sacks and QB Chase Powell has thrown for 1,401 yards and 26 TDs. QB Marcus Smith (830 yards passing for 11 TDs and 810 yards rushing for 6 TDs) has led the Mustangs in the playoffs along with WR Antoine Watkins (45 catches, 805 yards, 9 TDs) and DT Malik Dorsey (64 tackles).,

Urbana (9-3) at No. 2 River Hill (12-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Class: 3A

Coaches: Ryan Hines, Urbana; Brian Van Deusen, River Hill

Outlook: After running the table in Howard County and defeating archrival Atholton in the regional final, River Hill meets its first opponent from outside the county and another team with a Hawks mascot. Urbana's record is deceiving, because it fell to three strong teams — Westminster, Middletown and Walkersville — before scoring playoff upsets of Damascus and Seneca Valley. While Urbana won the most recent of its five state titles in 4A in 2010, River Hill is the defending 3A champion and has won three titles in the past five years, the first two in 2A. River Hill, which has won 22 straight games, has relied heavily on the run in recent years, but QB Austin Altman (2,113 yards, 26 TDs) has given them an aerial game to go with RB Justin Arn and RB Evan Griffin (13 TDs each). Urbana is led by two sophomores, RB Raekwon Gay (16 TDs) and QB Donovan Parnell (1,303 yards passing, 10 TDs).

Huntingtown (11-1) at No. 7 Milford Mill (11-1)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Class: 3A

Coaches: Brendan Galligan, Huntingtown; Reggie White, Milford Mill

Outlook: The Millers are back in the state semifinals for the first time in seven years and are aiming for their first title in 25 years. The Hurricanes have been in the state semifinals three straight times and have yet to win the championship. White said the Millers will have to improve their defensive efficiency on third down. They struggled to stop Franklin's drives in the regional finals and used a big play, QB Kyle McEachern's 64-yard scoring run with 2:41 to go, to beat the Indians 33-28. McEachern (744 yards rushing 15 TDs, 1,311 yards passing for 12 TDs) has been the catalyst for the Millers while LB Jamall Morant (104.5 tackles, 6 forced fumbles, 4 fumble rec.) leads the defense. QB Zach Piazza (1,231 yards passing, 17 TDs) and LB Josh Woodburn (118 tackles, 4 INTs) lead the Hurricanes

Douglass-PG (11-1) vs. No. 11 Edmondson (11-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Poly

Class: 2A

Coaches: JC Pinkney, Douglass; Dante Jones, Edmondson

Outlook: The Red Storm's defense and big-play capability have driven through a couple of close regional playoff games. The defense has allowed just 8.7 points per game this season and 16 total in two playoff games. DB Marcellus Pack returned an interception for the game-winning touchdown in last week's 12-6 win over Dundalk and Laqwan Moody's interception sealed the first-round 14-10 victory over Douglass, from Baltimore City. The Eagles, who fell to Middletown in last year's 2A final, have shut out seven opponents and score an average of 31.3 points. The Red Storm has two 1,000-yard rushers in Pack and Hakeem Holland, who have combined for 29 TDs, as well as QB Tyjuan Eaton, who has thrown for 1,734 yards and 21 TDs. The Eagles also have a balanced offense behind QB Devin Butler (944 yards passing, 9 TDs) and a handful of running backs.

Brunswick (8-4) at No. 6 Dunbar (11-1)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Class: 1A

Coaches: Patt Foster, Brunswick; Lawrence Smith, Dunbar

Outlook: With one more win, the Poets would become the most successful team in state football playoff history. They are tied with Seneca Valley with 41 playoff wins but Seneca Valley lost in the regional final. The Poets have won eight state titles, including the last two and six of the past nine in Class 1A. The Railroaders, from Western Maryland, are still looking for their first title after reaching the state semifinals two years ago. The Poets have nine shutouts this season and have allowed just 45 points, but they haven't faced a passing offense like Brunswick's. QB Collin Nusbaum tied the state record with 448 passes this season and has thrown for 3,301 yards and 26 TDs. WR Blaine Price has set a host of receiving records, including 129 catches and 1,714 yards. The Poets' balanced offense is led by RB Coleman Blackston (1,384 yards rushing, 13 TDs) and QB William Crest (1,287 yards passing, 12 TDs) while LB Marvin Gross (27 1/2 sacks) leads the defense.

New Town (10-2) at Perryville (12-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Class: 1A

Coaches: Joe Holland, New Town; Chris Johnson, Perryville

Last meeting: First meeting

Outlook: In their first trip to the state semifinals, the Titans meet last year's runner-up, a team that has lost just one game in two years — the state final to Dunbar, 24-11. The Titans' two losses were by one point each and they won their playoff games by an average of 34 points. While the Panthers have something to prove after losing in the final last season, the Titans do too after a forfeit for an ineligible player cost them a chance to move on in last year's playoffs. The Titans are led by RB Derrick Kittrell (1,174 yards rushing, 18 TDs), FL Donte' Gross (844 yards rushing, 10 TDs; 12 catches for 6 TDs) and QB Shawn Magginson (910 yards passing, 12 TDs). The Panthers are led by RB-LB Joe Peaker (1,699 yards, 21 TDs; 87 tackles, 8 sacks) and QB Elijah Johnson (1,287 yards passing for 14 TDs).

Katherine Dunn

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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