The power, size and speed of the Henry A. Wise football team ended Meade's dream season with a nightmare.
After two surprising road playoff victories over then-No. 4 Arundel and then-No. 6 Old Mill, No. 5 Meade hoped to keep rolling in the Class 4A state semifinal Saturday afternoon. But Wise used its bulk to take control early and steamroll the visiting Mustangs, 40-0.
Wise (13-0) advances to the Class 4A state final Friday at M&T Bank Stadium against Quince Orchard, who edged No. 3 Westminster, 21-19, in the other state semifinal Friday night.
The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for Meade (10-3). The Mustangs hadn't made the playoffs in 11 years, and Meade coach Rich Holzer said they understood the challenge Wise would offer.
"They were big. They are the biggest team in the state, hands-down, and the most physical, I believe," Holzer said. "We knew this was going to be a tough one."
The Wise offensive line featured Jalen Perry (6-foot, 270 pounds), Jaiyen Franklin (6-4, 275), Silas Smith (5-8, 245), Warren Wright (6-3, 300) and Antonio Harris (6-4, 310). Tight ends Micah Till (6-5, 250) and Raymond Washington (6-0, 225) also created problems for the Mustangs.
The Pumas featured a simple offense, usually just running left, right or straight ahead. They kept pounding away, and eventually the Mustangs couldn't hold them.
"We felt like they hadn't played a team as physical as us," Wise coach DaLawn Parrish said. "We just wanted to be physical."
Field position also helped Wise, which was able to start seven drives at midfield or in Meade territory. The Pumas finished with 245 yards of total offense.
In the end, Meade couldn't stop Wise's big plays.
Kenneth Scott-Kelow scored three touchdowns, one on a 26-yard pass from quarterback Isaiah Black, another on a 45-yard run on a direct snap and the third on a 52-yard punt return. Chase Powell ran for two touchdowns, and Black threw two scoring passes.
In 13 games this season, Wise has limited opponents to 43 total points. The Pumas held Meade to 181 yards of total offense in the shutout.
Mustangs quarterback Marcus Smith has been tough to stop throughout the postseason, but Wise was able to keep him from both getting outside and cutting back, two things Old Mill had trouble with last week.
"I thought we were going to be able to run the ball a little," Smith, a junior, said. "We were trying to run the ball to the outside, but they were able to get to the edge."
The Mustangs hope to return next year and use this as a learning experience, albeit one that's a bit painful.
"We've got something to build on," Smith said.
Henry A. Wise 40, Meade 0
M 0 0 0 0-0
W 7 14 13 6-40
W-Powell 5 run (Yancey kick)
W-Scott-Kelow 26 pass from Black (kick failed)
W-Till 23 pass from Black (Porter run)
W-Scott-Kelow 52 punt return (Yancey kick)
W-Scott-Kelow 45 run (kick failed)
W-Powell 19 run (kick failed)