Class 4A quarterfinal
at No. 14 Annapolis (8-2)
When: 7: 30 tonight
Outlook: Sherwood coach Bob Milloy is wary of Annapolis in this first meeting of the schools, despite having never lost to an Anne Arundel County team and owning more state titles (eight, six at Springbrook, two at Sherwood) than anyone.
"We scouted them three times, and we're really impressed with their running back [Rayvon Johnson], and their offensive line is good," said Milloy. "We were lucky to beat Paint Branch (21-20), and Paint Branch told us they were lucky to beat Annapolis in overtime (13-6). Annapolis has a really fine team, and they are a real threat to win something."
In leading Annapolis to the county and Class 4A East region titles, Johnson, a 5-10, 170-pound junior with 4.4 speed, set an Anne Arundel single-season rushing record with 1,947 yards and two school TD records (18 rushing, 20 overall).
"I know we're nervous facing someone like him after having our confidence shook last week," said Milloy. His Warriors were humbled, 42-8, by Class 4A top-seed Seneca Valley, which won the Montgomery County title and finished its third consecutive unbeaten regular season.
Sherwood's leading receiver with 45 catches for 577 yards and eight TDs, is 6-foot-4, 170-pound Brian Hill, who is expected to play despite a sore hamstring.
"We normally prefer running off tackle, but we have more of a passing team out of necessity," said Milloy, who like Annapolis, runs the wing-T.
Sherwood QB Scoots Crowell has completed 90 of 143 passes for 1,224 yards and 17 TDs and been intercepted just three times.
Annapolis lives and dies off-tackle with Johnson and sophomore Reynardo Young leading a bevy of speedy backs who run behind pulling guard Eric Toney and tackles Charles Carter and Rashad Wills.
"They use multiple formations, which can be tough to defend and prepare for," said Annapolis coach Roy Brown, who is counting on defensive linemen Jack Brooks and Dan Harich, LBs Henry Downs and Aaron Copeland, and Kyron Belt, Johnson and Dewayne Hunt in the secondary.
Belt, also the Panthers' QB, whom Milloy calls "impressive," has completed 30 of 59 passes for 625 yards, 13 TDs and four interceptions. Belt's favorite target is junior end Marvin Charles, who has caught just 11 passes -- seven for TDs.
"We can't make mistakes and have to execute against an outstanding defense," said Brown.
Both teams played Arundel (5-5), which Sherwood blanked, 24-0, in the season's second week, and Annapolis outlasted, 35-34, in a fifth-week wake-up call. After nipping Arundel, the Panthers posted three straight shutouts and outscored their last five opponents, 187-14.
Severn (3-6) vs. St. Mary's (1-8)
Where: Anne Arundel Community College
When: 7 tonight
Outlook: This game will make the season for the winner. The host Saints have won the last two meetings in this private-school rivalry, including last year's 31-14 romp, and five of the last six games. Severn last won by 15-14 in 1995. Brad Best, in his 10th year of coaching St. Mary's, is suffering his first losing season (59-40 overall) but is 5-4 against the Admirals. Severn coach John Beckman (19-18-1 career) is 1-2 against the Saints.
Class 3A quarterfinal
Westlake (9-1) at No. 5 Broadneck (10-0)
When: 1 p.m. tomorrow
Outlook: The host Bruins, the 11th team in county history to go undefeated in regular season, now hope to win their first playoff game under coach Jeff Herrick.
Broadneck made postseason play last fall for the first time but lost to Friendly, 34-20, in the quarterfinals.
The teams have comparable stats. Westlake, from Waldorf in Charles County, has averaged 30.3 points a game, giving up 9; Broadneck is averaging 36.8 and 8.4.
In five seasons under coach Dominic Zaccarelli, Westlake is 44-8 in regular-season play, making the playoffs three times (2-2) and losing in 1996's state final to Damascus. Westlake has won the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference each year since joining it four years ago, the school's second varsity season.
Five Wolverines RBs have run for 650 yards or more out of the wing-T. Senior Desmond Fagan and sophomore Recardo Evans lead with 870 and 837 yards, respectively, followed by juniors Gonzie Gray (750) and Desmond Hicks (673), and senior Quinn Flynn (656). Evans ran for 197 yards and two touchdowns in the Wolverines' 21-18 victory over Thomas Stone (7-3 overall, 7-2 league) last week to clinch the SMAC title with a 9-0 league mark.
Broadneck, 19-2 in its last two seasons as county Class 2A-3A league champs, uses workhorse RB Martel Threadgill almost exclusively to run the ball. Threadgill, the county's all-time leading rusher (3,821 yards), set Broadneck school records this season for yards rushing (1,745 on 209 attempts) and touchdowns (25). His yardage is the fifth-best single season in county history, and his county-leading 25 TDs and 150 points rank second and fourth, respectively, for a season.
"Their quarterback [Lehrman Dotson] is a very good athlete and runs the option well, and they like to spread the defense. We've seen them several times and are very impressed," Zaccarelli said.
Dotson, QB since mid-season, has thrown for five TDs and 567 yards with no interceptions. His numbers are similar to those of Westlake's Nick Rose: 577 passing yards, seven TDs, two interceptions.
Defensively, the Wolverines run the split-six and, their coach said, "don't do anything fancy." Four LBs are the team's strength.
The Bruins' offensive line, led by center Dan Burke (6-0, 240) and tackle Dave Lazzari (6-4, 220), can expect a test.
The Bruins' defense is anchored by senior cornerbacks Dorian Watkins and Jermaine Holland, DE Jeff Logan (6-2, 215) and LBs Sam Strother and Hector Colon.
"Dorian is one of the best cover men I've seen, and Sam holds everything together," said Herrick. "We know we are playing a very good team. But our kids have been through a lot [mid-season suspensions and loss for the year of three starters] and they know they have a lot to play for."
Pub Date: 11/13/98