xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Harford's top teams battle in the High School Football Game of the Week

Bel Air's Devin Bowers battles for a few yards as Havre de Grace defender Jack Smith tries to take him down.
Bel Air's Devin Bowers battles for a few yards as Havre de Grace defender Jack Smith tries to take him down. (Matt Button / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Football Game of the Week

Bel Air (6-0) at No. 15 Aberdeen (6-0)

Advertisement

When: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Where: at Aberdeen

Advertisement
Advertisement

Coaches: David Huryk, Bel Air; Johnny Brooks, Aberdeen

Last meeting: Aberdeen won, 35-26, last year

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bel Air: RB Devin Bowers, Sr.; RB Brad Casale, Sr.; TE-OLB Kyle Hamrick, Sr.; QB Daniel Webber, Soph.; RB-CB Brendan Yetter, Sr.; SS Jared Daeschner, Sr., C-DT Dylan Robinson, Jr.

Advertisement

Aberdeen: QB Reggie Washington, Sr.; WB-DB Mark Meynisse, Soph.; WB Chapree Cromwell, Sr.; RB Ben Richardson, Sr.; SE-DB Isaiah Jackson, Jr.; LB Kion Gibson, Sr.; RB Dramel Boykin, Sr., DE Quincy Johnson, Sr. OL-DL Jamelle Burrows, Jr.

KEYS TO VICTORY

In a matchup with major implications for both the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference and Class 3A North region, the Bobcats will search for any way to slow down the high-powered Eagles, who have averaged more than 35 points per game — even if that means divine intervention.

"Honestly, I would love to see a ton of rain," Huryk said. "That would be nice."

Absent that, the Bobcats will do their best to grind it out, moving the ball methodically on the ground while hoping to get a few defensive stops. That, in itself, could be a challenge.

Aberdeen's Washington (1,365 yards passing, 13 touchdowns) leads a balanced offense that features multiple receiving weapons in Meynisse (25 receptions, 5 touchdowns), Cromwell (18 rec., 2 TDs), Richardson (16 rec., 3 TDs) and Jackson 10 rec., 3 TDs). Each averages more than 15 yards per catch.

The Eagles also run the ball about as much as they throw, with Richardson (8.5 yards per carry, 8 TDs) and Boykin (7 yards per carry) leading the way.

"They can score from anywhere on the field, so it's just trying to slow it down," Huryk said. "You're not going to stop it. Eventually they're going to get their points. But if you can limit their big plays, you have a chance."

Bel Air, however, is no slouch on offense, having scored 42 points in each of their past two games, and eclipsing the 40-point mark four times this season.

Bowers (88 carries, 657 yards, 8 TDs) and Casale (62 carries, 431 yards, 8 TDs) each average more than 7 yards per carry out of the Wing-T offense. Though he doesn't throw often, Webber (31 of 38 passing, 575 yards, 7 TDs, 2 interceptions) has proven to be effective when he does.

"We haven't faced a Wing-T team this year, so it's probably going to be a difficult task for us," Brooks said of the offense, which features an abundance of guard pulls, bootlegs and traps. "It's going to require a lot of discipline on our end."

In his fifth year as head coach, Huryk has never beaten a Johnny Brooks-led team, dating back to Brooks' time at Havre de Grace.

The winner of this one will get a major boost in the region, where Aberdeen and Bel Air are currently ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. They also are tied for first in the UCBAC's Chesapeake Division at 3-0.

The game will also provide an opportunity for validation heading into the postseason.

"I honestly don't know how good or tough we are," Brooks said. "So far, they haven't been beat, so this will definitely be a great test for us to see just where we stand."

"They're the type of team that you see in the playoffs," Huryk said. "We've been knocking at the door for the past couple of years, but we haven't been able to get through it. So this is a good test to see if we are who we think we are.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement