And then there were still five...

Week 10 – the final week of league action – did nothing to thin the ranks of the undefeated as Arundel, River Hill, Joppatowne, Boys' Latin and Forest Park all polished off perfect regular seasons. The first four are 10-0. Forest Park is 9-0.


Now the quest to stay unbeaten becomes more difficult as each team heads into post-season play. Staying perfect now means winning a state – or in Boys' Latin's case an MIAA – championship. At least one of the five must fall, because Joppatowne and Forest Park are both in Class 1A.

Here's a look at how they got here and who's next:

No. 1 Arundel

The Wildcats won their 20th straight game and the Anne Arundel County championship with Friday's 69-28 victory over Southern. In sweeping through the league, they have scored 492 points and allowed just 123. All-Metro quarterback Billy Cosh has completed 239 of 347 passes for 2,805 yards and 49 touchdowns. His favorite receiver, R.J. Harris, has caught 88 of those passes for 1,313 yards and 24 touchdowns. Joseph Blackwell has run for 1,014 yards and nine touchdowns on 165 carries.

Next up: Annapolis (8-2) at home Friday at 7 p.m. in a Class 4A East region semifinal. In the fifth game of the season, Cosh threw for four touchdowns – three of them to Harris – to beat the Panthers, 38-7. Coach Chuck Markiewicz's Wildcats are looking for their first state championship since 1975 after reaching the state semifinals last season and the title game in 2007.

No. 2 River Hill

After posting a fourth straight unbeaten season in Howard County with Friday's 41-21 win over Centennial, the Hawks move back up to the Class 3A playoffs after winning two state Class 2A titles. Three years ago, the Hawks were runners up to Friendly in Class 3A. In Friday night's win, Nick Bonhag had two touchdowns as the Eagles were the first team to score more than 15 points on a stellar Hawks' defense that allows just 7.2 points per game.

Next up: James M. Bennett (6-4) at home Friday at 7 p.m. in the Class 2A East regional semifinals. The Clippers, from Salisbury, are in the playoffs for the first time since 1990. The last time coach Brian van Deusen's Hawks lost a playoff game was that state 3A final, 37-18 to Friendly, on Dec. 9, 2006. Since then, they have won 38 games in a row.

5 Joppatowne

Coach Bill Waibel's Mariners are harder to score on than any other Baltimore-area team. They allow just 5.2 points a game and finished off a perfect run through UCBAC Chesapeake Division with Friday's 28-7 win over C. Milton Wright. They have four shutouts. This was their 17th straight win over a UCBAC opponent as Chris Wright ran for two touchdowns.

Next up: Bohemia Manor (7-3) Friday at home at 7 p.m. in the Class 1A East region semifinal. A UCBAC team from Chesapeake City in Cecil County, the Eagles are in a different division and did not play the Mariners during the regular season. They won the state 1A crown in 2002 and the Mariners took it a year later. Joppatowne has not lost a game on the field to a UCBAC opponent since September 2006 (although they forfeited some for an ineligible player in 2007 and 2008).

No. 8 Boys' Latin

The Lakers finished off their first unbeaten regular season in 32 years with Friday's 40-27 win at St. Paul's. A strong defense and the running of Patrick Steele continue to power the Lakers. Steele rushed for 203 yards and five touchdowns in the game, bringing his season total to 29 touchdowns – many of them running behind his personal plowman, fullback Drew White.

Next up: No. 14 Archbishop Spalding (9-1) for the MIAA B Conference championship Saturday at 1 p.m. at Mount St. Joseph. The Lakers dominated the last meeting, 20-0, as Steele scored three times. But the Cavaliers will be out to avenge their only loss and take the trophy. Coach Ritchie Schell's Lakers last won a B Conference title in 2002, when the conference was divided in half and they took the Silver Division. They shared C Conference titles in 2003 and 2004.


Forest Park

Lake Clifton gave the Foresters quite a run for the Baltimore City Division II championship Friday, but quarterback Travis Fonseca's 75-yard touchdown pass to Arraheem Dedmon and some late-game defensive heroics gave the Foresters a 6-0 win and the title. Sean Patterson forced a fumble and Patrick Makell recovered it with about a minute to go to end a Lakers drive that had reached the Foresters 4-yard line. In his first season as head coach, Damon Bomar and his staff have turned the team around from 2-8 last fall

Next up: Carver (6-4) in the Class 1A North region semifinal Friday at 7 p.m. at Poly. The Foresters, who have won five games by a touchdown or less, edged the Bears, 20-14 in the regular season. Each team is looking for its first playoff victory.