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Unbeaten football teams down to four

And then there were four...

Five football teams went into last week's action with perfect records, but only four made it through. Arundel, River Hill, Joppatowne and Forest Park all won their regional semifinal playoff openers.

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Boys' Latin, however, ran into revenge-minded Archbishop Spalding and fell 12-0 in the MIAA B Conference championship. The Lakers won the first meeting 20-0, but saw their season end at 10-1.

Arundel, River Hill and Joppatowne move into the regional finals at 11-0 while Forest Park moves on at 10-0.

Here's a look at how these teams advanced and who's next:

No. 1 Arundel

The Wildcats had one of their tightest margins of victory this fall in getting past Anne Arundel County rival Annapolis, 18-6. It was their 21st straight win over a county opponent. All-Metro quarterback Billy Cosh completed 14 of 21 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Joseph Blackwell had 21 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Michael Coombs had three interceptions and Bobby Partilla made 13 tackles.

Next up: No. 6 Old Mill (9-2) at home Friday at 7 p.m. for the Class 4A East crown. Coach Chuck Markiewicz's Wildcats aim to end their top county rival's season the same way it started – with a loss to Arundel. On Sept. 5, Arundel won the opener, 34-27, and that remains their closest game this season. The teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of total offense and Cosh was 29-for-45 for 347yards with four touchdowns. Blackwell, in his Wildcats' debut after transferring from Spalding, ran for 174 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown but also caught three touchdown passes from Cosh. R.J. Harris caught 13 passes for 206 yards. For Old Mill, which knocked off previously unbeaten North Point Saturday, Josh Furman gained 219 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns in that first meeting while Jason Clements gained 143 yards on 24 carries.

No. 2 River Hill

The Hawks, who moved to Class 3A after winning back-to-back state 2A titles, are posting some impressive numbers, including a school record 70 points scored in Friday night's shutout of James M. Bennett. That was their 39th straight win and the 100th career victory for head coach Brian Van Deusen. It was also the fifth shutout for a defense that allows only 6.5 points per game. In rolling over the Clippers, Kevin Johnson scored three touchdowns and Nick Bonhag had three as seven different Hawks scored touchdowns.

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Next up: No. 15 Atholton (10-1) at home Friday at 7 p.m. in the Class 3A East regional final. The Hawks were the only team to beat the much-improved Raiders this season, coming from behind for a 35-14 decision three weeks ago. The Raiders got the jump on River Hill when Kalvin Seamonson threw 90- and 80-yard touchdown passes to Matt Robinson to take a 14-7 lead into halftime. River Hill quarterback Harry McLaughlin turned that around with a 13-yard touchdown pass to John Michael on the opening drive of the second half. The Hawks kept rolling with 212 of their 393 yards of offense in the second half while the defense stopped the Raiders, who managed to gain just 38 yards in the half. Johnson and Brent Kluge each scored a Hawks touchdown.

No. 5 Joppatowne

The Mariners had a little trouble holding onto the ball early in Friday's game leading to three Bohemia Manor touchdowns, but their stingy defense continued to play well and Jake McGinnis had 15 tackles en route to a 49-30 victory. Epe Henriques ran for four touchdowns, gaining 292 yards on 25 carries as the Mariners made up for allowing more points than they had allowed in a game all season.

Next up: Havre de Grace (7-4) at home Friday at 7 p.m. in the Class 1A East region final. The Mariners rolled over their Harford County rival, 35-0, three weeks ago, and coach Bill Waibel said the hardest part of coaching toward this week's game is convincing his players that the Warriors are capable of beating them. He said his team played particularly well in their first meeting with Henriques and Chris Wright combining for almost 300 yards rushing. The Warriors like to throw the ball and they rebounded with a 45-24 win over Fallston and then a 12-6 win over Snow Hill Saturday in terrible field conditions on the Eastern Shore.

Forest Park

The Foresters have won some close, exciting games this season, but perhaps none tighter than Friday night's 19-18 win over Carver. Delron Dantzler scored the game-winning touchdown late in the first half after Travis Fonseca's long pass to Andrew Allen set up the short run. The Foresters held on and got a big defensive play when Carver pulled within 19-18 and went for the conversion to win. Facing a quarterback sweep to the outside, Forresters Allen, James Queen and Abel Hill got through the line and smothered the ball.

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Next up: No. 8 Dunbar (10-1) at Poly Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Class 1A North regional final. The competition gets a whole lot tougher for the Baltimore City Division II champion Foresters when they meet the co-Division I champion Poets, who have won three straight state 1A titles and seven straight regional crowns. Foresters coach Damon Bomar said his players were disappointed that the Poets were not on their regular-season schedule, but as the team continued to win, he told the Foresters they might get to play them in the playoffs. "If they want to be the champions, they've got to beat the champions," said Bomar. "I think it could be a good game, but it's a great opportunity for Forest Park."

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