But that’s where the similarities end. Arundel will put its up-tempo, pass-heavy offense against the Patriots’ power-rushing attack in a renewal of one of Anne Arundel County’s best rivalries.
“On offense, they’re going to tell you, ‘Look, here’s what it is,’ and you have to stop it,” Arundel Coach Chuck Markiewicz said of the Patriots. “It’s not like it’s vanilla, but it’s ‘Here it is.’ We kind of appreciate that. There’s not going to be any punches pulled, nobody’s going to do everything different. We’re just going to go out and play.”
Leading Old Mill’s rushing attack will be junior running backs Shawn Brown (270 yards on 47 carries) and Aqeel Mooring (219 yards and five touchdowns on 47 carries).
“We’ve got to move the football, we’ve got to hope that we can control the tempo of the football game. Arundel wants to be very very up-tempo,” Old Mill Coach Chad McCormick said. “If the tempo dictates, we want to be able to control the ball and control the clock and keep them off the field.”
Moving the ball for Old Mill may be tougher though against an improved Arundel defense that has given up just 40 points this season and has held all but one of its opponents to eight points or fewer. Markiewicz said that with the established reputation of the Wildcats’ offense, it’s Arundel’s defense that feels it has something to prove against the Patriots.
“They’re going to want to run the ball down our throat, keep it from us. I’m sure they’re going to want to control the clock,” he said. “Our defense is formidable, and I don’t know that that’s something that they’re taking seriously. I can’t speak for them, but they’re probably thinking that they can hold the ball on us and control it and kind of go from it from that way, but I don’t see it that way.”
Around Prince George’s
Douglass sophomore Aaron Johnson began the season as a fullback on the junior varsity squad, but he’s become a major part of the Eagles’ offense as a tailback. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound back has led the team in attempts each of the past two weeks, totaling 103 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries in a pair of blowout victories.
Coach J.C. Pinkney said Johnson earned the promotion by demonstrating the toughness, vision and speed needed to be a tailback and hopes to increase Johnson’s role as he continues to learn the plays for his new position.
The Eagles (4-1, 3-1 Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A) have split the carries fairly evenly among five different rushers. No running back has averaged more than six attempts per game, heading into Friday night’s game against Crossland (3-2, 1-2). ...
Injury-riddled Friendly (2-3, 1-2) has dropped three straight since beginning the season with upset wins over Thomas Johnson and Gwynn Park. The Patriots — who allowed a pair of defensive touchdowns in last week’s 36-26 loss to Largo — will try to get back on track Friday when they host Forestville (4-1, 2-1). The Knights turned it over six times last week and still managed to beat Crossland.