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  1. I believe Jared Lewis is the best high school QB in Maryland and a future starter at the FBS level. This young man is going places.
  2. 1A) Dunbar-34, Fort Hill-21 2A) Damascus-21, Gwynn Park-7 3A) Linganore-28, Milford Mill-13 4A) Wise-21, Quince Orchard-14 Best of luck to all the finalists.
  3. Glenelg at Damascus - This game may be closer than some people think. I expect Dmas to have a bit of a letdown after last week's mega-game vs Walkersville, but still win by a comfortable margin. Damascus-30, Glenelg-14. Gwynn Park at Harford Tech - HT may have dodged a bullet last weekend, but their dream season ends in a nightmare game against GP. Gwynn Park-34, Harford Tech-7. Havre de Grace at Dunbar - The poets dust off HDG without much difficulty as they head toward a seemingly inevitable showdown against Fort Hill. Dunbar-42, Havre de Grace-14. Also: Howard at Wise Quince Orchard at North Point Oxon Hill at Linganore Lackey at Fort Hill Long Reach at Milford Mill
  4. Loyola has shown marked improvement over the last two games, while Calvert Hall has performed sluggishly. We have the ingredients for a close game. CHC will play just well enough to win. Calvert Hall-17, Loyola-14.
  5. The REALITY of the situation, the HERE and NOW, is that St. Frances rules the roost in the MIAA A Conference. I don't give a rat's axx where St. Frances' staff came from, all that matters is that they're at St. Frances NOW. And I repeat, a four team playoff for a seven team conference is idiotic, particularly since the winner of the playoff doesn't go anywhere once it's over. It's not like a conference championship tournament in college basketball, where the winner is guaranteed a berth in the NCAA Tournament. All the MIAA is doing is forcing a team to win the same championship twice. An abject waste of time.
  6. I don't like to rain on anyone's parade, but this MIAA A Conference playoff is so stupid it's an insult to stupid people. Why in hell does a seven team league need a four team playoff to determine a champion, especially when one team went undefeated and has clearly proven to be superior to the rest. To top it off, this playoff is being completed before the regular season has been concluded, i.e., Loyola - Calvert Hall game Thanksgiving morning. The B and C Conferences have a championship game too, but at least it's only one game. The only circumstances in which a championship game should be played is when there is a tie for first place at the end of the regular season. Otherwise, the playoff and championship games need to go. It's long past time for the private schools to get together and formulate a plan for state private school football playoffs. There could be two or three classifications, with four teams in each class. It's pretty obvious that the private schools will never be joining forces with the MPSSAA, so this would be the next best thing, in my opinion. Finally, this year's MIAA A Conference playoff should be called the St. Frances Invitational, certainly not the Gilman Bowl.
  7. Here goes: Walkersville at Damascus - This is the Game of the Year so far in Maryland in 2017. I believe both of these teams would be capable of winning a state championship in any of the four classifications. Damascus has the home field, but I don't think it will be much of an advantage. The two schools aren't that far from each other, and you can be sure Walkersville will have a large contingent of fans at the game. This game is a toss up in every way, but someone has to win. Walkersville appears to have been slightly more dominant in its games than Damascus, so I'm going with the Lions to prevail in a game that will live up to its hype. Walkersville-24, Damascus-21. Hereford at Gwynn Park - Last Friday, Hereford coasted past Forest Park while Gwynn Park had to fight for its life to survive against Edmondson. Several questions arise from last week's results. Did Gwynn Park take Edmondson lightly, and if so, will they come out full of fire and brimstone Friday night? And after Gwynn Park's narrow escape, does Hereford now believe it has more than just a puncher's chance of beating GP? I predicted before the season that the region would come down to these two teams, with Gwynn Park the one to beat. Hereford is playing a tough, talented team far from the friendly confines of the Zone. I believe the Bulls will play well and give it their best shot, but it won't be enough. Gwynn Park-36, Hereford-20. Kent Island at Harford Tech - I'm not sold on Harford Tech yet. One should always be leery of these johnny-come-lately teams making their first-ever playoff appearance, or their first in many years. Kent Island is a playoff-tested program, and I expect them to burst Harford Tech's bubble Friday night in a hard-fought game. Kent Island-27, Harford Tech-20. Also: Allegany at Fort Hill Linganore at Westminster Edgewood at Milford Mill Atholton at Long Reach Howard at Paint Branch North Point at Broadneck Northwest at Quince Orchard
  8. Hereford-44, Forest Park-13 The game was closer than the final score indicated. Hereford ran the ball very effectively throughout the game and passed very little, but did have one passing TD on a perfectly executed connection to TE Troy Tuveson. Forest Park's QB showed a quick release and a strong arm, and had some nice receivers to throw to, but forced the ball in at times resulting in three damaging interceptions. He was not sacked once by the Hereford defense. The Bulls did not put the game on ice until the fourth quarter. Trailing 31-13, Forest Park drove the ball deep into Hereford territory. On a key third down play, Bulls' DB Jeremy Arigbamu intercepted the Forest Park pass at the Hereford goal line and made an electrifying 100 yard return for a TD. Then, on the first play from scrimmage following the ensuing kickoff, the Bulls scored again on another pick six by one of the Arigbamu brothers (there are three on the team). This wrapped up the scoring for the game.
  9. Hereford at Forest Park (at Poly) - Forest Park's lack of quality regular season competition factors significantly in this game. This isn't the best Hereford team to ever make the playoffs, but the Bulls are better than any team Forest Park played this year. Also, the Bulls are riding the momentum from their hard-fought overtime win over playoff-bound Chesapeake last Saturday. This game won't be a blowout, but Hereford should win by a comfortable margin. Hereford-30, Forest Park-14. Overlea at Reginald Lewis (at Dunbar) - Just like in the above-mentioned game, lack of challenging competition will hurt Lewis here. Lewis did not play one team from Baltimore City's top division. I look for the physical Overlea team to jump out to an early lead and control this game throughout. Overlea-22, Lewis-14. Oakdale at Walkersville - This should be the best game of the first weekend of playoffs. Oakdale gave Walkersville its toughest test of the regular season before going down by a score of 19-13. It was Oakdale's only loss.There's an old adage that it's difficult to beat a good team twice in one season, but this Walkersville team appears to be a cut above. They win by a slightly larger margin in this rematch. Walkersville-24, Oakdale-14. Also: Elkton at Harford Tech Edgewood at Franklin Perry Hall at Paint Branch Meade at Broadneck Sherwood at Howard And two private school Picks: Avalon at Loyola - The Dons can't wait to get back into action and get win #2 in a close decision over the Avalon Frankies. Calvert Hall vs Gilman (at CCBC Essex) - This one is for my man GreyhoundAlum. DILLY GILLY!!!
  10. Hereford -22, Chesapeake (BC)-20, in OT This was a tense, physical, hard-fought game, and a must-win for Hereford in order to get into the playoffs. After stopping Chesapeake on a drive aided by acres of penalty yardage against Hereford inside the Bulls 10 yard line late in the first quarter, Hereford then drove the length of the field and scored in the second to go up,7-0. Hereford got the ball back and moved inside the Bayhawk 25, but an ill-timed pass was intercepted by Chesapeake, and the first half ended, 7-0. Hereford received the second half kickoff and was stopped on three plays, then had to punt. Chesapeake broke through and blocked the kick, then scooped up the ball and ran it in for a TD. A successful two-point conversion gave the Bayhawks an 8-7 lead. On the ensuing drive, Hereford hit a wide open receiver on a long pass for a TD, then elected to kick the extra point to go up 14-8. Not to be outdone, Chesapeake drove down to score, but failed on the two-point try, leaving the score tied, 14-14, at the end of the third quarter. A scoreless fourth quarter was highlighted by Hereford stopping a Chesapeake drive around the Hereford 10, then gaining several first downs to move the ball out of the danger zone. After finally having to punt to Chesapeake in the final minute, the Bayhawks were unable to move the ball, and the game went into overtime. Chesapeake got the ball first in OT and scored a TD, but the runner was stopped cold by the Hereford D on the two-point conversion, leaving the score 20-14. On Hereford's turn, they were faced with fourth down from the three, but the Bulls RB muscled in to tie the score at 20. Hereford's outstanding kicker, Sam Wanamaker, lined up for the winning extra point, but Chesapeake jumped offside three straight times in an effort to block the kick, succeeding the final time. At this point, with the ball practically on the goal line, Hereford decided to just run the ball in for two rather than kick, were successful, and came away with a hard-earned win. It was nice to see that Chesapeake finally has bleachers and a press box at the school, along with a new track. But it was very disappointing to see that the scoreboard was non-operational, which makes no sense, considering a new or repaired scoreboard would have cost a fraction of what the new bleachers and track ran. Another case of Baltimore County's seemingly everlasting problem with inferior facilities for the student-athletes. Best of luck to both teams in next weekend's first round of playoffs.
  11. Last week of the regular season....Here goes: Hereford at Chesapeake (BC) - Here we have two evenly matched teams in what appears to be a tossup game. Chesapeake is enjoying one of its best seasons ever, having already clinched the County 1A-2A division championship and a 1A playoff berth. Hereford has a lot more riding on the outcome of this game, because a win gets them into the 2A North playoffs, possibly as a #3 seed. For that reason, I expect the Bulls to play with a greater sense of urgency than in any other game this year. Another motivating factor for Hereford is the fact that all six of their wins this season have come against teams with losing records. They need at least one win over a quality opponent to validate to themselves that they are more than just an average team who simply took advantage of having played a mediocre schedule. A focused Bulls team gets the job done. Hereford-21, Chesapeake-12. Canada Prep at Loyola - For those who don't know, Canada Prep is a team from Welland, Ontario who plays American rules football against a meat-grinder schedule of strictly American teams, all on the road. Research indicates that they are winless this season. Among their losses was a 41-0 pounding by St. Frances back in late August. Loyola is coming off a bye week, and the Dons have to be encouraged by their strong performance against Gilman two weeks ago. They view this game as a realistic opportunity to earn their second win of 2017. I believe the fact that Canada Prep likely hasn't played a team that runs the triple option spread offense, plus the wear and tear of having played every game on the road, far form home, could be the deciding factors in a very close game. The Dons by a field goal. Loyola-24, Canada Prep-21. Also: Archbishop Curley at John Carroll Mervo at Edmondson Walkersville at Middletown Archbishop Spalding at Mount St. Joe Gilman at McDonogh St. Mary's at Severn Franklin at Parkville Allegany at Fort Hill
  12. JMT: If Hereford beats Chesapeake Saturday and gets into the playoffs, under what scenario would they get a #3 seed in the 2A North? Thanks.
  13. If this does indeed happen, the coaches and AD's should petition the County to dissolve the Developmental League ASAP. Don't wait until next fall, when reclassification occurs. Woodlawn and Towson make the playoffs, while Parkville and Dundalk do not. This kind of atrocity should not be allowed to happen more than once. The current Divisions 2 and 3 could be reconfigured as follows: 2A-3A: Eastern Tech, Hereford, New Town, Owings Mills, Lansdowne, Patapsco, Towson, Woodlawn. 1A: Chesapeake, Loch Raven, Overlea, Pikesville, Randallstown, Sparrows Point, Western.
  14. Chesapeake's aggregate record from 2012 to 2016 was 14-36. That pretty much defines an also-ran in my book. Additionally, they were a member of the earlier version of the infamous Developmental League, which speaks for itself. I know they had some success in whatever division they were in in the County from 2007-2011, but the program's all-time playoff record dating back to 1984 is an unflattering 2-9. Most of those losses were blowouts, and they've never made it out of their region. Chesapeake had mostly horrendous teams from the early 1990's to the early 2000's. I recall that in 1997, the year Hereford won its first state championship, Chesapeake went 0-10 and scored one TD all season...on a kickoff return. Not one offensive score in 10 games! Getting back to 2017, I think Chesapeake has a very good chance of beating Lewis if they happen to face them. Lewis doesn't play anybody, and like you pointed out, the Bayhawks beat New Town by two TD's, while Lewis only beat them by two points. If Chesapeake runs into Dunbar, look out! Dunbar will beat them with a running clock. Lewis too, for that matter.