Varsity football regional final games to watch this weekend

As the high school football playoffs move to the regional finals, here are five games to keep an eye on this weekend.

CLASS 4A EAST

NORTH POINT (11-0) @ NO. 2 BROADNECK (11-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Coaches: Tom Petre, North Point; Rob Harris, Broadneck

Last meeting: Broadneck won, 20-14, in 2015 playoffs

Outlook: When North Point defeated Old Mill, 42-0, in the season opener, the rest of Anne Arundel County’s 4A teams knew the Eagles could be trouble come playoff time. Until last week’s win over Arundel, the Eagles, from Waldorf, had won just one playoff game in their history, going 1-7 against Anne Arundel teams. The past three years, Anne Arundel teams have knocked them out in the first round, including Broadneck two years ago when the Bruins went on to the state semifinals. The Bruins made it to the regional final last season before falling to Annapolis. The Bruins have been to the state semifinals seven times and advanced to the title game in 2003. This fall, both teams win by an average of about 29 points per game. In last week’s regional semifinal, the Anne Arundel County champions rolled over Meade, 35-6, on two rushing touchdowns from Tyrice Watson and two passing touchdowns from Shane Davis. They also forced five turnovers. The Eagles, champions in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference, had a tougher time with Arundel, needing 10 unanswered points in the final 6:40 to win 20-19. Jemichael Jones’ 79-yard touchdown pass to Malik Lawrence was the game-winner.

CLASS 3A EAST

ATHOLTON (7-3) @ LONG REACH (7-3)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Coaches: Justin Carey, Atholton; Jamie Willis, Long Reach

Last meeting: Long Reach won, 14-13, on Nov. 3.

Outlook: When the Howard County foes met in the regular-season finale, Long Reach needed a win to make the playoffs. Atholton already had its eighth regional berth sewn up, but could have earned a higher-seeded spot with a win. In the past 10 meetings, the two teams have had a back-and-forth rivalry with each winning five times. Three of their past six games have been decided by a point. In the regular-season game, Long Reach running back KaDarrian Booker, who finished with 120 yards on 33 carries, gave his team a 14-7 lead after three quarters on his only touchdown of the game. Atholton running back Melvin Brown, who ran for 192 yards on 20 carries, scored both touchdowns, including one with 2:22 to go. The Raiders went for the win, but the conversion attempt failed. Last week, the Raiders rolled over top-seeded J.M. Bennett, 43-7, as Brown ran for 215 yards and two touchdowns. The third-seeded Lightning got a 2-yard touchdown run from Booker with 5:23 left to edge Chesapeake-AA, 27-24. It was the first playoff win in program history for Long Reach while Atholton advanced to the regional final for the fifth time.

CLASS 3A NORTH

EDGEWOOD (8-3) @ NO. 9 MILFORD MILL (10-1)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Coaches: Charles Johnson, Edgewood; Reggie White, Milford Mill

Last meeting: First meeting

Outlook: Edgewood is coming off the first playoff win in program history, a 20-8 victory over Franklin, the Millers’ archrival and a state finalist last season. Quarterback Antwan Banks scored all three touchdowns, but Mike Johnson’s 33-yard pass to Reyshawn Ivery-Gardner on a fake punt jump started an offense that had stalled in a 0-0 first half. The Millers, champions of Baltimore County’s Division I, are aiming for their first regional title since 2012. In last week’s 46-14 win over C. Milton Wright, freshman Rishon Holmes scored three touchdowns in three ways for the Millers. Both teams are led by their quarterbacks. Banks, a junior, has run for 1,544 yards and 20 touchdowns and has passed for 1,085 yards and seven touchdowns with two interceptions. Millers senior Brandon Savage has thrown for 1,227 yards and 11 touchdowns and run for 368 yards and six touchdowns. Both teams have strong running games with the Rams averaging 321.5 yards per game and the Millers averaging 259.

CLASS 2A EAST

KENT ISLAND (9-2) @ NO. 15 HARFORD TECH (11-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Coaches: Damian Ferragamo, Kent Island; Tim Palmer, Harford Tech

Last meeting: First meeting

Outlook: The best season in Harford Tech history rolled on as the Cobras won their regional semifinal, 35-0, over Elkton, a huge turnaround against a team they had never beaten. Last year, the Elks won a regular-season meeting, 55-21. The Cobras, in their first undefeated season, had never been to the state playoffs until this fall. They got off to a 28-0 lead in the first half and kicked in the running clock in the second half with a 35-point lead. The Cobras had four interceptions in the game — two by Jordan Bright — and Jalen Dangerfield ran for 131 yards. Now, the Cobras face a Kent Island team that has been to the playoffs 10 times in 10 years and has reached the state semifinal three times, most recently in 2014. Ferragamo, who coached Old Mill to its first state championship in 2009, guided the Buccaneers to a first-round upset of top-seeded and previously unbeaten North Caroline, 33-29. They won on a touchdown pass from Trent Jackson to JC Getz with 25 seconds left in the game. North Caroline hadn’t allowed more than 14 points in any of its regular-season games. Jackson threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

CLASS 1A NORTH

No. 7 DUNBAR (9-1) VS. REGINALD LEWIS (11-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Mervo

Coaches: Lawrence Smith, Dunbar; Emanuel Glover, Reginald Lewis

Last meeting: Dunbar won, 50-8, in 2014

Outlook: The Poets have won their only two meetings with Reginald Lewis by a combined 108-8. Since the most recent one, however, the Falcons have come a long way. They won the first playoff game in program history last season before falling to Edmondson in the regional final. However, they needed a break to advance this year. Overlea won the regional opener, 24-12, but had to forfeit for using an ineligible player. Top-seeded Lewis, Baltimore City’s Division II champion, will now face the city’s Division I champ. Dunbar has won nine state championships and 53 playoff games, more wins than any program in state tournament history. The Poets only loss this season came to Allegany, 49-42, in the season opener. No one in the city league came closer than within 14 points of the Poets. Lewis has the area’s stingiest defense, allowing just 33 points (not including last week’s game) and has won by an average of 37.4 points. Falcons running back Malik Green came into the playoffs with 414 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns while quarterback Jamaal Douglas had thrown for 1,307 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Poets have a lot of offensive weapons, although quarterback Jared Lewis came into the playoffs with 2,223 passing yards and 19 touchdowns while running backs Alfonzo Graham and Andre Brandon each had about 770 rushing yards, and combined for 16 touchdowns.

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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