Maryland 3A West semifinal: North Hagerstown at No. 9 Seneca Valley, Friday, 7 p.m.
Seneca Valley (9-1) may begin the playoffs without its starting quarterback Calvin Reighard (concussion) and top running back James Jones-Williams (hamstring).
On Thursday morning, Coach Fred Kim said both players were being watched “day-by-day” and their availability for Friday’s region semifinal against North Hagerstown (9-1) would not be decided until game day.
Reighard, a junior, was briefly knocked unconscious when he took a helmet-to-helmet hit on a scramble in the second quarter of last week’s 20-14 win over Watkins Mill. Kim said the quarterback has been cleared to return to practice by his doctor but has not taken many reps in practice so far this week.
“We’re going to be better safe than sorry,” Kim said. “It’s not really about the game. It’s more about his health. . . . He’s not going to play unless he’s 100 percent.”
If Reighard sits out, the Eagles would turn to junior Maurice Gaines under center. Gaines, regularly a wide receiver, missed the Watkins Mill game with a knee injury but has practiced fully this week.
Jones-Williams — the team’s leading rusher the past two seasons — sustained his injury on a touchdown run in a 14-13 loss to Damascus on Oct. 26. He didn’t dress last week, and junior Kevin Joppy rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 31 carries in his place.
In the region’s other semifinal, top-seeded Damascus makes its state-record 15th straight playoff appearance, hosting Urbana. The Swarmin’ Hornets (10-0) closed out their second perfect regular season in three years with last week’s 35-12 win at Northwood, while the Hawks (7-3) needed to win their final four games to claim a playoff spot.
Maryland 2A South semifinal: No. 15 Gwynn Park at McDonough, Friday, 7 p.m.
Through the first eight games of the season, Gwynn Park seniors Joseph Hayman and Marc Bronson formed one of Prince George’s County’s most prolific rushing tandems. Splitting backfield duties, the competitive pair combined to average better than 160 yards per game.
Then Bronson landed awkwardly in the second half of a win against Largo on Oct. 20, spraining his knee. Though the injury cost him several practices and the final two games of the regular season, Bronson made sure Hayman didn’t get too comfortable without him.
Bronson “was always like, ‘Joe, you better keep it up,” Hayman said. “He told me, ‘I’m coming back, and I’m gonna be strong.’”
With Bronson finally healthy, Gwynn Park’s rushing attack will get a boost when the Yellow Jackets (9-1) kick off the Maryland 2A South playoffs on Friday night at Southern Maryland Athletic Conference co-champion McDonough (9-1), the region’s top seed. Hayman has rushed for at least 95 yards in five straight games, but Bronson and junior Eddie Gross should also see plenty of action against a Rams defense led by senior linebacker Christian Cole.