Broadneck's football team (5-2) can clinch its first winning season in Class 4A at 7:30 tonight with a victory at home over Severna Park (5-2). The loser can say goodbye to the playoffs.
The Bruins' last winning season came in 1987 (7-3) as an AA school, which is the equivalent of what is now Class 4A, but since the realignment to the 4A classification in 1989, the Bruins have gone 2-8, 3-7 and 5-5.
Coach Jeff Herrick took over in 1989, and the Bruins have improved each year. Broadneck is 0-5 against Severna Park, 0-3 under Herrick.
The two neighboring schools first met in 1987 with Severna Park winning, 20-6. During the next four years, the Falcons won 35-19, 32-14, 10-6 and 21-9.
This is definitely the best shot the Bruins, third in 4A Region IV, have had to knock off the Falcons, because this is unquestionably the best team Herrick has had.
Herrick promised before the season that his Bruins would come out throwing and win with a run-and-shoot. They have.
Senior Alan Hartman has passed more than any quarterback in the metro area, even more than Eric Howard of North County. Hartman has completed 81 of 185 passes for 1,279 yards and nine touchdowns to Howard's 95-of-149 for 1,359 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Severna Park coach Andy Borland is concerned about the Bruins' passing game, which is a carbon copy of North County's. The Knights (6-1) blew out the Falcons, 48-19, last Friday.
It's all very simple. If Severna Park can control the ball, something it couldn't do against North County, and contain the Bruins' air assault, it can win.
Seventh-ranked North County is playing its homecoming game at 1 p.m. tomorrow against Meade (2-5).
Meade got back into the win column with a 29-21 victory over Glen Burnie (2-5) last week and will like nothing better than to upset the Knights and spoil homecoming. The Mustangs played the Knights tough last year before bowing, 14-7.
North County continues to run neck-and-neck with eighth-ranked Annapolis (6-1) for a Class 4A Region IV playoff berth. The Knights, whose only loss came to Annapolis, 20-19, the third week of the season, have 59 playoff points for an average of 8.42. Annapolis leads the region with 67 points and a 9.57 average.
Annapolis visits Old Mill (1-6) for a 7:30 game tonight. Coach Roy Brown's Panthers' only loss came to Randallstown (3-4) in the season opener, 18-16, but a hard-earned 14-6 victory over Queen Anne's (3-4) made it six in a row for the Panthers since the first game.
Coming off a 21-6 loss to Broadneck, Chesapeake (2-5) has its homecoming tonight in Lake Shore against Arundel (1-6). The Cougars could be getting the Wildcats at the wrong time because they are coming off their first win, 28-6 over Old Mill.
Freshman quarterback Pat Cilento passed the Cats to their first win under new coach Bill Zucco by completing 7 of 12 passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
Northeast (3-4) is having its homecoming tonight in Pasadena with Southern (3-4) paying a visit in a battle of the county's only Class 2A schools. The Eagles are coming off a 33-7 thrashing by Class 1A Easton (7-0) while Southern was winning, 21-7, at Liberty (1-6) in Carroll County.
South River (5-2), fourth in Class 3A Region IV, will be out to get back in the win column after a 26-7 loss to ninth-ranked and Class 4A Perry Hall (6-1) last Saturday. The Seahawks travel to Charles County for a 7 p.m. meeting at Lackey (4-3), a club they defeated, 21-15, last season.
Two MSA C Conference games complete the Friday schedule with Severn (7-0) playing host to Douglass (1-4) at 3:30 p.m. and Archbishop Spalding (1-5) looking to snap a five-game losing streak at Bronco Field in Brooklyn Park against Boys' Latin (3-3).
Tomorrow, St. Mary's (5-2) visits Archbishop Curley (0-5) in East Baltimore at 2 p.m. in a MSA C Conference contest of big-time importance to the Saints.
The Saints are 3-1 in C Conference play, a game behind Severn and St. Paul's (6-0). The Saints play Severn in the final week of the season. Severn and St. Paul's are 4-0 in league play and they meet next week at St. Paul's.
St. Mary's needs to keep winning, knock off Severn in the final game and hope that Severn defeats St. Paul's next week to create a three-way tie.
Glen Burnie (2-5) will try to snap a three-game losing streak in its 1:30 p.m. visit to Queen Anne's (3-4) on the Eastern Shore tomorrow. The host Lions could very easily be 7-0.
Queen Anne's has been in every game. The Lions, whose biggest win was a 19-16 upset at Severna Park, have scored 111 points while giving up 106.
Three of their losses have been to the top three teams in 4A Region IV: North County (27-20), Broadneck (17-14) and Annapolis (14-6).
The Gophers will have to play much better than they have the last three weeks in being outscored 81-39.