Other Games to Watch

Severna Park Coach J. P. Hines is a former Arundel linebacker. This week, his team travels to face his alma mater, which is top-ranked in the district.
Severna Park Coach J. P. Hines is a former Arundel linebacker. This week, his team travels to face his alma mater, which is top-ranked in the district. (By Linda Davidson -- The Washington Post)

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

As soon as Severna Park (4-2 overall, 4-2 Anne Arundel) wrapped up its fourth straight victory, 20-7 over South River last week, the Falcons began to talk about Arundel. This is the game they've been waiting for all season.

When the schedule came out, Arundel's name jumped off the page for a few reasons. The most obvious is that the teams have not met since 2002, so the Falcons knew it would be their first opportunity to play a team that is typically one of the county's best.

Arundel having lived up to its reputation with a 6-0 record is just a bonus for the Falcons, who have been playing every game with a sense of urgency since their 0-2 start.

"This is definitely one of the big games on our schedule," said junior linebacker Sean Price. "This is probably going to be one of the deciding factors in whether we're going to make the playoffs."

On top of that, the game has a little added meaning because of current Arundel star, senior quarterback Nick Elko, and Severna Park Coach J.P. Hines, who played linebacker for the Wildcats in the late 1970s.

"It will be fun going against the best quarterback in Anne Arundel County," said Severna Park senior quarterback Pat Morrison. "And Coach Hines graduated from Arundel, so we want to win it for him."

This past summer, Morrison attended a few summer clinics with Elko, including an NFL high school player development camp at North County, and tried to watch and learn from the Arundel quarterback.

The Falcons defense might try to pick Morrison's brain this week for any knowledge he gained because every other defense has failed to slow down the Arundel passing attack this season. Arundel is averaging 37 points per game.

"I think it's going to be a great football game," said Hines, who hopes his triple-option offense can keep Arundel's quarterback off the field. "We need to try to eliminate mistakes, have great clock management, and field position is going to be key."

Other Games to Watch

¿ Old Mill at North County, Saturday, 1 p.m.: Old Mill (5-1, 5-1) is on a roll behind a defense giving up several points per game over its past four, all wins, and an offense averaging 35 points over that span behind quarterback Grant Enders, wide receiver Alphonse Coates and running back Jason Clements. With a win, the Patriots can set up a showdown for first place with Arundel next week. They can't look past North County (4-2, 4-2), considering the Knights handed Broadneck a loss earlier this season and have playoffs aspirations of their own.

¿ South River at Broadneck, Saturday, 1 p.m.: Thanks to its two-point loss to North County in Week 4, Broadneck (4-2, 4-2) is in third place with two other teams. But the Bruins, who gave Arundel its toughest game of the season so far and handed Old Mill its lone loss, could be dangerous if they make the playoffs. To do that, they need to keep winning. This week, they face a South River team (3-3, 3-3) fighting to get its record back above .500 after losing three of its past four games.

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