Maryland 3A final
When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
How they got here: River Hill (13-0) won the Maryland 3A East title and beat Urbana, 29-7, in the state semifinals for its 23rd consecutive win. Huntingtown (12-1) won the Maryland 3A South title for the fourth consecutive year, and earned a trip to its first state final since 2009 with a 34-6 semifinal win against Milford Mill.
When River Hill has the ball: The Hawks spread it around to their trio of senior running backs — Stephan Osong, Justin Arn and Evan Griffin — setting up the pass for senior quarterback Austin Altman (27 touchdowns, 2 INTs). Senior linebacker Josh Woodburn leads a Huntingtown defense that has allowed 14 points or fewer in six straight games.
When Huntingtown has the ball: The Hurricanes also split carries. Senior Carl Riffe rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns last week, but junior Arnez Bowens is the team’s leading rusher this season and Colton Rowe and Bryson Curtis also see significant carries. Huntingtown’s massive offensive line, led by Riley Cannon and Erwin Jones, must neutralize Justin Nestor, Logan Kirby and the Hawks’ defensive front.
Skinny: Expect a physical battle between two fundamentally sound, well-rounded teams. Whichever team controls the line of scrimmage should prevail. River Hill can add to its legacy as one of the state’s dominant football programs with its fourth state championship in six years. Huntingtown is looking to claim its first state title after a state final loss in 2009 and losses in the state semifinals the last two years.