The pairings for next weekend’s regional semifinal football playoffs are now official after Sunday morning’s state seeding meeting. Games will kick off Friday or Saturday with teams aiming for the state finals Dec. 5, 6 and 7 at M&T Bank Stadium.
Unlike other sports in which the matchups are previously determined for the state semifinals, the regional football champions will be reseeded based on their regular-season points averages, with the points leaders playing at home in the state semifinals. A lot can happen in the playoffs, but if top seeds Old Mill, Glenelg and Douglass win their regional titles, they would host state semifinals on Thanksgiving weekend.
All four defending state champions are in the field. Henry A. Wise advanced in Class 4A, River Hill in 3A and Middletown in 2A. Defending 1A champion Dunbar advanced but is now in 2A. Only Middletown earned a No. 1 seed in its region.
Eight teams finished the regular season undefeated: Old Mill and Suitland in 4A, Fallston, Middletown, Patuxent and Gwynn Park in 2A; Douglass-B and Fort Hill in 1A. One region includes two unbeaten teams -- 2A South with Patuxent seeded first and Gwynn Park, second.
The regional pairings:
4 Sherwood (7-3) at 1 Paint Branch (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
3 Howard (8-2) at 2 Perry Hall (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
4 Flowers (7-3) at 1 Suitland (10-0), Saturday, 1 p.m.
3 Wise (7-3) at 2 DuVal (9-1), Saturday, 1 p.m.
4 Arundel (8-2) at 1 Old Mill (10-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
3 Broadneck (8-2) at 2 Meade (8-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
4 Clarksburg (7-3) at 1 Quince Orchard (9-1), Friday 7 p.m.
3 Gaithersburg (8-2) at 2 Northwest (8-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
4 Westminster (7-3) at 1 Franklin (8-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
3 Aberdeen (7-3) at 2 Milford Mill (7-3), Saturday, 1 p.m.