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Fear not, local football fans — even with the state’s new format that featured a nine-game regular season in 2019, there will be plenty of action in and around the county in Week 10.

That’s because five Carroll teams qualified for postseason play.

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The expansion of the regional playoffs this year, from 64 teams to 128 — the top eight squads in each region advance based on the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s point system — helped many teams qualify that wouldn’t have done so in most seasons past.

The postseason begins Friday nonetheless.

Carroll County Athletic League champion Westminster (7-2, 8.11 playoff point average) hosts Long Reach (3-6, 3.11) on Friday night at 7 at Ruby Field.

The Owls earned the No. 2 seed in Class 3A East, with the Lightning seeded seventh. Westminster takes a seven-game winning streak into the playoffs, where the Owls have played in a regional final in each of the last two seasons.

They’re averaging 31 points per game this season.

If Westminster wins Friday, its all-time playoff record will climb above .500 (9-9). The Owls are 4-4 in their last eight postseason games.

The county has two representatives in 3A East, with Manchester Valley (5-4, 5.0) set as the No. 4 seed and hosting No. 5 Hammond (5-4, 4.89) on Friday at 7.

The Mavericks are back in the playoffs for the first time in four years, when they last played in a regional championship game. They’re 2-3 in their playoff history.

Liberty (6-3, 7.0) has a home game on Friday as well, this one a 2A West matchup. The No. 3-seeded Lions welcome No. 6 Oakland Mills (6-3, 6.33) for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Liberty’s all-time playoff record is 1-6, with the lone win coming in 2004, but is making its fourth straight postseason appearance.

Century (6-3, 5.78) is also in 2A West playoff action Friday night with a road game against Glenelg (6-3, 7.78). The Knights are making their third playoff appearance in four seasons. They’re 2-4 all-time in playoff games, having reached a state semifinal in 2008.

The 2A West was a demanding region this fall, with six of the eight teams finishing at 6-3. Middletown is the top seed at 7-2 (7.89), while Liberty shares the same point average as No. 4 Oakdale (6-3) and No. 5 Walkersville (6-3).

Winters Mill (4-5, 3.44) finished ninth in 2A West. Seneca Valley (4-5, 4.67) earned the No. 8 seed.

Carroll’s fifth playoff team is Francis Scott Key (3-6, 2.89), back in the postseason for the first time in 13 years. The Eagles, seeded seventh in 1A North, have a trip to No. 2 Edmonsdon (7-2 7.03) on Friday at 6. The game is being play at Poly-Western.

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FSK is 1-5 all-time in playoff games. The Eagles had their win in 2004.

Carroll County is still looking for its first football state championship. South Carroll and Westminster both reached state finals in 2005 at M&T Bank Stadium, but fell short on the same day.

The county is 30-48 all-time in its postseason history.

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