Key Players to Watch
Catonsville: RB DeAndre' Lane, Sr. (210 carries, 1,666 yards, 20 TDs); WR Deniko Carter, Sr. (18 catches, 489 yards, 8 TDs); QB Aaron Jones, Sr. (39-for-89 passing for 828 yards, 5 TDs), TE-DE Julian Jones, Sr. (9 catches , 221 yards, 5 TDs; 80 tackles, 8 sacks); DE Sean Lipscomb, Sr. (85 tackles, 11 sacks)
Old Mill: RB Rob Chesson, Sr. (287 carries, 2,222 yards for 41 TDs, 1 ret. TD); WR-DB Torie Wagner, Sr. (28 catches for 586 yards, 9 TDs; 43 tackles, 8 INT, 2 returned for TDs); QB Deonte Sheilds Sr. (60-for-100 passing for 1,132 yards, 15 TDs); LB Rafael Kess, Sr. (68 tackles, 5.5 sacks); LB Salaman Riddell Sr. (84 tackles, 10 sacks)
Outlook: The strategy for these teams will be no surprise to anyone. Both have literally run into the playoffs. Old Mill boasts the area's top-scoring running back in Chesson, who needs just one touchdown to tie the state record of 43 set by Wicomico's David Brown in 2007, while the Comets have followed Lane's lead. Although they don't go to the air as much, both teams have quarterbacks whose passing ability makes the team adaptable to whatever the opposition can stop.
The Patriots, the Anne Arundel County champions who beat North Point 28-7 in the regional final, are making their third appearance in the semifinals and won the title in 2009 with a similar power running game. They haven't scored fewer than 21 points since their season opener and allow just 7.2 points per game. The Comets, the Baltimore County 4A-3A Division champ, upset then No. 5 and undefeated Poly in its regional final to reach their first state final four. The Comets haven't scored fewer than 28 points all season and allow 13.1 per game.
No. 12 Aberdeen (10-2) at No. 5 River Hill (10-2)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Coaches: Johnny Brooks, Aberdeen; Brian Van Deusen, River Hill