Columbia Football Club places four of its teams in playoff semifinals


The Columbia Football Club plays host to the final two rounds of the Maryland Football Association playoffs and has placed all four of its teams in Saturday's semifinals.

The Columbia Bulldogs' 8-10, 9-11, 10-12 and 11-13 teams each won quarterfinal-round games last weekend to advance. The semifinal-round are on Saturday at Cedar Lane Park's Phase I on Cedar Lane in Columbia, with the finals on Nov. 7.

The tournament features football teams from around the state.

Top players from Columbia include running backs Fardan Carter (13), Dain Lewis (13), Jeremy Lignelli (12) and Theus Johnson (12), fullback Scott Bross (13), wide receiver Anthony Jackson (13) and quarterbacks Zach Willingham (12) and Casey Moffett (14).

Teams winning the state championship advance to November's regional tournament. Regional winners will then advance to the national finals, where they'll compete against top Pop Warner teams from across the nation.

Games begin at 9:30 a.m. and run throughout the day. For more details, call Ed Sanford at (410) 792-7822.


* 8-10: The Columbia Bulldogs landed their spot in the state semifinals with a 26-14 win over the Randallstown Panthers Saturday.

The Bulldogs took an early lead as Ian Green's 25-yard run set up quarterback Jeff Carlin's 1-yard sneak, making it 6-0. Then, after Randallstown scored to take a 7-6 lead, Columbia's J.C. Porter scored from a yard out to put his team up 12-7 in the third quarter.

The Panthers again took the lead on a fourth-quarter touchdown, making the score 14-12 but Green and Wes Lakenan scored to pull it out for the Bulldogs.

Standout play by the Bulldogs' offensive and defensive lines highlighted the win.

Columbia will take on Woodlawn in the state semifinals Saturday.

* 9-11: The Bulldogs opened the Pop Warner state playoffs with a 25-0 win over the Stemridge Colts Saturday at Cedar Lane Park.

The Bulldogs scored on their second play from scrimmage as Myron Jones followed the blocks of Kenny Brock and Alex Grant and broke a 40-yard touchdown run.

Keith Shepard also had a big day for Columbia, scoring on a 25-yard run and a 30-yard pass from quarterback Wade Zancan.

Defensively, the Bulldogs got two interceptions from Jimmy O'Connor and one each from Jared Zillmer and Zancan.

The other big defensive play came from Kyle Chiaverini, who scooped up a Colts fumble and returned it 40 yards for a second-quarter touchdown.

With the win, Columbia, 6-0 in the regular season, advances to Saturday's semifinal game against the Woodlawn Steelers. The Bulldogs have a home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

* 10-12: The Bulldogs scored two touchdowns in the final three minutes to defeat Hanlon Park, 13-6, in a state quarterfinal Saturday.

Down 6-0 late in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs pulled even on a Jeremy Lignelli score. On the next drive, however, Hanlon Park completed a long pass, and their receiver appeared headed for the go-ahead score. But Columbia's Mike Ralph caught up to the ball carrier, tackling him and dislodging the ball. The Bulldogs recovered the fumble.

Then, with just 40 seconds remaining, Theus Johnson exploded up the middle for a game-winning 70-yard touchdown. Hanlon Park's last-second desperation pass was intercepted by Lignelli.

Columbia's offensive line, led by Kevin Haas, John Quinn and blocking back Gregg Kellett played a key role in the win.

The team advances to Saturday's state semifinals.

* 11-13: One week after beating the Howard County Trojans by six points in their regular-season finale, the Bulldogs defeated their rivals, 28-0, in a first-round playoff rematch Sunday.

Fardan Carter led the way, scoring on a 4-yard run and a 70-yard interception return. Anthony Jackson and Scott Bross also had big days, with Jackson scoring on a 35-yard reception and Bross adding a 10-yard touchdown run.

Lineman Mike Smith sealed the win with a late fumble recovery and 70-yard return.

Columbia will play Highlandtown Saturday in state semifinals.

Girls Soccer

* 10-12: The Columbia Connection blew past St. Joseph's, 6-0, last Wednesday to advance in the Baltimore Metro Classic Soccer Tournament.

Julie Young scored two goals for the Connection, and Kelly Renfro, Kristina Schappeler, Mary Muller and Nora Bachman each had one.

On defense, the quartet of Emily Timm, Sarah Burt, Cindy Dagley and Michelle Jenkins held St. Joseph's to a a handful of shots for the game.

* Under-14: The Columbia Courage lost a 1-0 decision Saturday to the Louden Raiders.

Columbia's strong defensive effort was led by Brooke James, Stephanie Romich, Shanti Smith and goalie Sasha Dorcas. Offensively, Samm Oehl, Katie Young, Julie Hastings and Marnie Wills kept constant pressure on the Raiders.

On Sunday, the Courage played the Annandale Flames to a 0-0 tie. Although Columbia threatened often on offense, it was unable to connect. Kate Golding had a strong game for the Courage.

* Under-10: The Columbia Fury played the Braddock Road Bluebelles to a 0-0 tie last weekend.

Although the Fury dominated most of the game, they were unable to put the ball in the net.

Cathy James, Carolyn Schmid and keeper Candice Hills led the stingy Columbia defense. Offensively, Katie Nelson, Jenny Knauer, Alison West, Jessica Coulson and Rachel Stoutenborough kept constant pressure on the Braddock Road defense.

* 11: Large margins of victory were the norm last weekend. King's Contrivance No. 1 and No. 2, both posted easy wins.

Jenny Jones scored four goals to pace King's Contrivance No. 1 to a 6-0, win over Hickory Ridge. Erin Davis and DeAnna Jones scored the other goals.

King's Contrivance No. 2 got goals from five players in its 5-0 win over Wilde Choice. Sarah Almon, Meg McAuliffe, Meg Tilley, Megan Macheski and Sara Condon all scored for the victors.

In a close game, Centennial No. 2 defeated Centennial No. 1, 2-1, on goals from Kelly Vanouf and Paige Heller. Malissa Dugan scored the lone goals for Centennial No. 1.

Boys Soccer

* 13: Columbia Contact nipped the Little River Raiders 2-1 Sunday on a goal by Chris Ford with four minutes remaining. The game-winner was set up by Austin Smith, who also scored the tying goal. Fullbacks Steve Feddor and Josh Mazalewski and goalkeeper Chris Moe helped shut down Little River after an early goal.

The Contact is now in second place in Division III of the National Capital Soccer League with a record of 5-2-1.

* 11: Teams from Centennial had mixed results last weekend in Soccer Association of Columbia A Division neighborhood play.

Centennial No. 1 defeated Oakland Mills, 5-0, on goals from John Jeffries (2), Steve Frederick, Mike Bruzga and Clint Miller.

Centennial No. 2 dropped a 4-1 decision to Hickory Ridge. Matt Caporaletti, Domonic Phillips, Todd Gillette and Kariem Shah each scored a goal for the victors.

In the B Division, Centennial No. 1 got all of its goals from Abe Shocmacker and Kevin Ebert in a 4-0 win over Hickory Ridge.

The other game saw Owen Brown and Centennial No. 2 play to a 1-1 tie. Andrew Garthoff scored for Owen Brown, while Brad Marshall answered for Centennial.

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