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Regional football finals

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Today

Thomas Stone (9-2) at No. 2 Broadneck (11-0)

Region: Class 4A East

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Defense and a strong kicking game complement an offense that commits few turnovers, giving the Bruins an excellent chance against their Charles County opponent. The Bruins have won two postseason games in six appearances, and a victory would tie the county record for wins in a season set by the 1978 Annapolis (12-0) state champion. Chris Desautels, who kicked a county-record 10 field goals in the regular season, kicked his 11th, from 39 yards, in Friday's 17-14 win over Arundel. Punter Dan Rosenblum is accomplished at kicking to spots or out of bounds to prevent returns. QB Tony Marino, who has thrown for 1,022 yards and nine TDs, has only been intercepted three times and sophomore RB Brandon Johnson (1,125 yards, 12 TDs) takes time of the clock. Thomas Stone, which eliminated Old Mill, 21-7, likes to run the ball, but opponents have not been successful doing that against the Bruins. Both teams only gave up about 5 points a game.

Bel Air (7-3) vs. No. 7 Randallstown (9-2)

Region: Class 3A North

Site: CCBC-Catonsville

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Harford County's Bel Air advanced to face its second straight Baltimore County team with a 48-0 thumping of Dundalk last week. Dundalk, which the Rams beat, 30-6, two weeks ago, is the only common opponent. Tonight's game features an intriguing matchup between a Bel Air offense that loves to put the ball in the air and a Randallstown defense that loves to take it away. The Bobcats' smooth left-handed QB, Andrew Berry, has thrown for 1,372 yards and 20 TDS in 10 games. He has thrown just four interceptions on 152 attempts, while spreading the ball around to his twin brother, Adam Berry (35 catches for 626 yards and 10 TDs) and Willie Bell (38 catches for 590 yards, 8 TDs). The Rams' defense is led by future Maryland Terrapin Christian Varner (6 interceptions and 2 TD returns), Jamari McCollough (4 interceptions and 2 TD returns) and Efren Edwards (117 tackles).

No. 8 Hereford (9-2) vs. No. 1 Eastern Tech (11-0)

Region: Class 2A North

Site: CCBC-Essex

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: The Hereford Bulls "had one foot in the grave," according to coach Steve Turnbaugh, after their 24-0 regular-season loss to Eastern Tech. "Everything was a must-win or we were sitting at home." The Bulls have since won seven straight to earn their eighth straight state semifinal appearance. The Bulls' defense of DE Billy Rueter, DL-OL Joe Akers, DL Juan Pretorius and DB Ray Wittelsberger has six shutouts. Eastern Tech, however, boasts a 17-game winning streak, led by RB Dietrich Wright (26 TDs), who needs two scores to tie the Maryland record for career touchdowns (86) held by Georgetown Prep's Marcus Mason. The Mavericks, with their sixth playoff berth, have seven shutouts this year (10 during their winning streak). Eastern Tech also features QB Josh Hager (27-0 as a starter), WR-DB Tom Farmer (10 INTs) and DLs Greg Pinkney and Wayne Martin, who have seven and five sacks, respectively.

Stephen Decatur (10-1) at No. 9 Aberdeen (9-1)

Region: Class 2A East

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Aberdeen, the Harford County co-champ, has won seven straight, but the Eagles should have their hands full with the Seahawks, out of Worcester County. Stephen Decatur has won nine straight, including a 60-22 romp over J.M. Bennett in the regional semifinals last week. Relying heavily on a powerful running attack that features Ronnie Shockley, who had six touchdowns (four running, one catching and one fumble return) last week, Stephen Decatur averages 36 points a game and allows about 11. However, the Seahawks' defense will have to deal with Aberdeen's triple-option offense, which is orchestrated by senior quarterback Erin Henderson, who has totaled 2,025 yards of total offense and been a part of 16 touchdowns. Henderson has shown the ability to beat teams with his arm, but is also backed by powerful running backs Carl Stokes (594 yards, 9 TDS) and Shawn Lewis (410 yards, 6 TDs).

North Hagerstown (11-0) at No. 4 South Carroll (10-1)

Region: Class 2A West

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: South Carroll, which has averaged 43 points a game during its eight-game winning streak, will face a North Hagerstown team that is a extremely quick and has spent the season running past opponents and capitalizing on turnovers. The Hubs, who won the Monocacy Valley Athletic League's Antietam Conference, are led by senior running backs Derrick Keith and Bryan Slater. In a 33-13 win over Fort Hill last week, Slater ran for 169 yards, and each scored two touchdowns. South Carroll, however, also has plenty of big weapons. The Cavaliers, coming off a 48-14 win over Walkersville, are led by quarterback T.J. Swanson, who continues to have one of the most top offensive seasons in Carroll County history (2,144 yards and 25 touchdowns passing, 612 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing). His favorite targets are Chris Luette and Ryan Mullen, each of whom has 35 catches and has combined for 12 touchdowns. South Carroll, which won the MVAL's Piedmont Conference, is enjoying its best season in school history.

Joppatowne (5-5) at No. 10 Havre de Grace (9-1)

Region: Class 1A North

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Annual competitors for the Harford County league title, these two teams are no strangers to one another, so there will be no surprises. Joppatowne will run right at the Warriors, with standout tailback Brent Cash (1,410 yards, 20 TDS) following the blocking of mammoth fullback Jeremy Navarre and a young, much-improved offensive line. In 10 games, Mariners quarterback Anthony Preston has only attempted 44 passes, but Preston has rushed for 540 yards and 7 TDs. Preston's counterpart, Warriors senior Shane West, likes to put the ball in the air, throwing for 1,043 yards and 9 TDS, with Justin Donaldson (37 catches for 488 yards and 4 TDS) his favorite target. When these teams met earlier this season, the Warriors fell behind 14-0 before scoring 34 unanswered points en route to the victory. In that game, West set a state record by kicking a 59-yard field goal.

Tomorrow

Poolesville (11-0) vs. No. 15 Dunbar (10-1)

Region: Class 1A South

Site: City College

Time: 1 p.m.

Outlook: Visiting Poolesville of Montgomery County routed Baltimore City's W.E.B. DuBois, 34-7, last weekend and comes to the city for another challenge. Poolesville boasts balance with a big RB in 1,300-yard rusher Vince Riggs (6-2, 205), RB Greg Brooks, WR Josh Funk and QB Gary Ward. Dunbar brings a five-game winning streak into the game, led by RB Nathan Irby, who has rushed, caught and returned punts for a total of 17 TDs. Dunbar's Barry Bankins is the only senior on an offensive line that includes Alan Bosworth, Cecil Cromwell, James Conway and Antonio Powell.

No. 6 Glenelg (10-1) at Potomac (10-1)

Region: Class 2A South

Time: 1 p.m.

Outlook: The Gladiators face the greatest challenge of their season, going against a powerhouse team from Prince George's County that can score points in a hurry. Glenelg will need to use its ball-control running game to the ultimate in order to limit Potomac's passing opportunities. Stephen Bullard stepped up big last week with 90 yards on 16 carries, filling a gap left by the absence of leading rusher Tim Siders (1,153 yards). Siders, who reportedly missed last week's 28-6 victory over Southern-AA with an ankle sprain, will miss this game for breaking a team rule. Glenelg has averaged 33 points, but Potomac has allowed just 10.2 ppg. Potomac QB Harold Dorman has passed for 1,823 yards and 20 TDs. The Wolverines defeated Forestville, 50-27, last week with a 20-point fourth quarter.

No. 11 Patterson (9-2) at No. 3 Woodlawn (10-1)

Region: Class 4A North

Time: 1 p.m.

Outlook: The visiting Clippers, coached by Roger Wrenn in his 29th-year, are led by RB-LB Thomas Smith (25 rushing TDs, 95 tackles), WR-KR-DB Orlando Webb (8 TDs, five INTs) and OL-DL Dave Evans (10 sacks). Smith had 188 yards and three TDs in a 38-15 rout of Perry Hall, Patterson's eighth straight win. Woodlawn, winner of nine straight, boasts QB Justin Ross (1,720 passing yards, 14 TDs), DB Keith Mallory (6 interceptions, two for TDs), TE Jason Goode (19 receptions, 400 yards, five TDs), LB Lenard Leslie (13 sacks) and Maryland-bound OL Scott Burley (6-6, 345). Patterson has six shutouts, Woodlawn four. In city vs. county playoff matchups since 1993, the county leads, 6-4.

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