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Rivalry tops grid action Severn and St. Mary's ready to square off


Last year's 39-30 thriller may be tough to duplicate, but St. Mary's and Severn will try again at 2 p.m. tomorrow, renewing one of Anne Arundel County's top football rivalries.

No. 14 Severn plays host to St. Mary's with the Saints looking for their fourth in a row over the Admirals. It ranks as the Game of the Week in Anne Arundel County.

Both teams are 2-0 coming off of lopsided victories, and the game matches Severn's speed against St. Mary's bulk.

A St. Mary's victory would give Saints coach Brad Best a winning record against the Admirals who last won, 16-6, in 1991 with All-County running back Jason Wade and junior quarterback Brad Fowler.

The '91 victory was the fourth in a row for the Admirals who have had four coaches in the seven years Best has coached the Saints. Current Severn coach John Beckman was an assistant to Jim Doyle in last year's memorable game won by the Saints.

Dennard Melton scored four touchdowns in a losing cause last season and went on to become the first freshman ever named to the Anne Arundel All-County team.

Melton, who already is getting college letters from all over the country, had four touchdowns in Severn's 41-6 romp over Southern-Harwood (0-2) last week and is averaging 11.0 yards in the defending MIAA B Conference champion's first two games.

In contrast, St. Mary's has yet to give up a point and held Archbishop Spalding (1-2) to a total offense of 14 yards in a 46-0 rout. St. Mary's, a member of the MIAA A Conference, opened with a 14-0 win over Pallotti of Laurel.

Linebacker/offensive lineman Josh Rudder (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) and two-way tackle Braxton McNeil (6-3, 245) lead the Saints' hard-hitting defense.

The Admirals' 4-4 defense is anchored by junior linebacker Sean Songer and senior down lineman Adam Thomasson. Their main concern will be the Saints' speedy Rashi Reed. Reed, a junior running back, gained 185 yards and scored three touchdowns against Spalding.

After the game the two teams and their fans will celebrate with their annual bull roast fund-raiser at Severn.

On the public school circuit tonight, No. 7 Arundel (2-0) entertains nemesis Broadneck while defending 4A state champion and No. 12 North County (0-2) visits Lake Shore.

After surviving a 10-3 victory his first season as Arundel head coach in 1992, Bill Zucco has dropped the last two to his former JV player, Jeff Herrick. Herrick's 3A Bruins (0-2) upset the Wildcats, 10-7, last year on a last-second touchdown, costing Arundel the top seed in the 4A East Region playoffs.

Broadneck took a 22-15 victory over Arundel in 1993. Such three-year Wildcat starters as linebacker John Norsworthy and defensive back Mike McKnight would like to go out their senior years tasting victory over the Bruins.

While Arundel was blanking Northern of Calvert, 12-0, last week, the Bruins were humbled by Glen Burnie, 32-7, and have given up 78 points in two games.

North County, a 21-0 loser to Crossland (2-0) last week, is far from its state championship form. The Knights should get their first victory tonight against Chesapeake (1-1). The Cougars dropped an 18-3 decision to 2A South River (1-1) and visits 1-1 Surrattsville tomorrow.

Glen Burnie (2-0) will try to keep pace with Arundel as the only unbeaten 4A teams in a visit to Northern (1-1) of Calvert County.

Annapolis and Severna Park, both coming off their first wins, are home tonight. The Panthers beat Carver, 28-6, last week and play host to Southern of Baltimore (1-1).

The Falcons could give coach Andy Borland sole possession of third place on the county coaches career-wins list with an upset of Calvert of Calvert County. No. 130 for Borland won't be easy because Calvert (2-0) is ranked No. 18 by The Washington Post and led by a superb four-year quarterback in Tony Coyne.

Two 4A teams at 1-1 coming off losses are on the road tonight in Old Mill at Queen Anne's (0-2) and Meade at Friendly (1-1)of Prince George's. Last week I called Meade the sleeper in the 4A race, and the Mustangs dozed in the final period with a 12-0 lead, losing 16-12 to Mervo (1-1).

Winless Class 2A teams Northeast and Southern are at home against Patapsco (0-2) and Wilde Lake (1-1), respectively, while Spalding (1-2) travels to Frankfurt, W.Va.

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