North County's ace back Frank Brown will be in the spotlight at 7:30 tonight as the run-and-shoot Knights (5-1) of ninth-ranked North County visit Severna Park (4-2) in a crucial Class 4A Region IV high school football game.
Call it the "Game of the Week" in Anne Arundel County.
The 5-foot-10 and 170-pound Brown has been in the spotlight all week after his prolific game last Friday in a 52-20 romp over Chesapeake (2-4). Brown rushed for 336 yards on 15 attempts, scored seven touchdowns (five running and two on receptions of 23 and 56 yards) for a total offense of 415 yards.
In Wednesday's "Sidelines" column, I wrote that Brown had set county records for rushing (336) and touchdowns (sevens). It was thought that Glen Burnie's Rodney Spencer held the county record for single-game rushing (293) in 1983, and I couldn't find anyone who scored seven touchdowns in a game.
North County coach Chuck Markiewicz called to say he recalled Louis Carter of Arundel, who went on to star at the University of Maryland and in the NFL for a brief time, had such a game.
Markiewicz, who played and coached at Arundel High, remembered Carter ringing up one of those career days against Southern of Harwood in 1970 and the feat gaining national attention in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd."
The coach was right.
I contacted former Southern coach Tom Tereshinsky and the retired county teacher remembered the game.
"Carter ran wild that day," said Tereshinsky. "We took the lead, 6-0, but they went on to bury us, 72-6, and Carter ran for 335 yards on 15 carries and scored seven touchdowns. He also passed for 103 yards and one touchdown, completing five of 16 passes."
Carter played quarterback and tailback for the Wildcats, and that day his 438 total yards set a county record.
It's not likely that Brown will have such a game tonight against the charging Falcons of Severna Park. Coach Andy Borland's crew has reeled off four wins in a row after dropping its first two games.
"We're ready, and it should be a great high school football game," said Borland.
What concerns Borland is that Brown is not North County's only weapon. Quarterback Eric Howard (1,168 yards, 14 touchdown passes) directs the arsenal that includes receivers Damon Martin (33 receptions, 574 yards) and Mike Quarles (31 receptions, 441 yards).
Annapolis (5-1) is the only team to beat the Knights -- 20-19 on Sept. 18 -- but the Panthers really didn't stop the run-and-shoot. Rather, Roy Brown's team stalled it.
North County had total offense of 369 yards (183 passing, 186 rushing) to just 219 (39 passing, 180 rushing) by Annapolis.
The Panthers kept the ball away from the Knights. At the half, Annapolis led, 6-0, but it was the only time this season that the Knights trailed at the half.
Since the Annapolis game, the Knights have put away three teams in the first half, outscoring Chesapeake, Old Mill and Queen Anne's by a combined 101-7 before intermission.
Most of the attention is on the skilled positions, but the Knights' men in the trenches go about their business with precision.
The Knights' offensive line -- tackles Chris Martin (6 feet 3 and 215 pounds) and Adam Watkowsk (5-10, 250), guards Jarryn Avery (6-5, 225) and Erik Schwink (5-11, 205) and center Damian Ferragamo (6-1, 245) -- is outstanding.
"It's the finest offensive line I've seen in a long, long time," said Chesapeake coach Tom Kraning.
Borland is hoping his defense led by senior Ron Green is up to the task and that his quarterback Tim Bowerman (26-for-53, 512 yards, six touchdowns) has a good game.
That would mean a blend of passing with John Milisitz (five touchdowns on 10 receptions for 237 yards) as the main target, and running with sophomore Mark Frye (356 yards, five touchdowns) and senior Andy Santoro (275 yards, five touchdowns) carrying the load.
Certainly the game means more to the Falcons. A third loss and they can forget about the playoffs.
In other action tonight: Eighth-ranked Annapolis (5-1) will try to extend its winning streak to six in playing host to Queen Anne's (3-3); Broadneck (4-2) visits Chesapeake (2-4); Meade (1-5) travels to Glen Burnie (2-4); Old Mill (1-5) is at Arundel (0-6); Northeast (3-3) entertains Easton (6-0); Southwestern (3-2) takes on St. Mary's (4-2) at Anne Arundel CC; and Southern (2-4) travels to Liberty (1-5).
Three games are scheduled for tomorrow with sixth-ranked South River (5-1) visiting No. 12 Perry Hall (5-1) at 1 p.m.; Severn School (6-0) playing host to winless Archbishop Curley (0-4) at noon, and Archbishop Spalding (1-4) venturing to St. Paul's (5-0) in Baltimore County for a 1 p.m. contest.