Patterson vs. No. 8 Eleanor Roosevelt
What: Maryland 4A semifinal.
When: Saturday, 11 a.m.
Where: Polytechnic High School, Baltimore.
Records: Patterson 10-1; Roosevelt 10-1.
Analysis: The Raiders played a game earlier this season that started at 9 p.m.; now they face nearly the opposite situation with an 11 a.m. kickoff--in Baltimore, an hour away--against Patterson.
"We don't care when we play," Roosevelt Coach Rick Houchens said. "The bottom line is we're thrilled to death to be in the position we're in. We feel good and we're looking forward to playing."
Patterson's strength is its offensive line (the Clippers have three linemen whose average weight is 310 pounds) and running game. Senior Tony Smithson ran for 153 yards and three touchdowns in Patterson's 18-8 quarterfinal win over Lake Clifton on Saturday.
Roosevelt is brimming with confidence following its 19-13 win over Suitland, the school's first win over the three-time defending county champion since 1995. The Raiders rushed for 244 yards on 55 carries and scored 19 points--the most points allowed by the Rams in 1999.
"That was a big, big win for us," Houchens said. "It's given our kids a lot of confidence going into this next week."
Cambridge-South Dorchester at No. 17 Forestville
What: Maryland 1A semifinal.
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Where: Forestville High School.
Records: Cambridge 8-3; Forestville 9-2.
Analysis: Coach Michael Mayo wasn't necessarily happy with the Knights' 48-0 win over Pikesville in Saturday's quarterfinal. Sure, he was pleased with his team's performance, but he worried that maybe the victory was too easy.
"Sometimes a game like that makes everything seem so easy, and you lose focus," Mayo said. "It's like you haven't had to work hard. Cambridge beat Bohemia Manor, 31-30, in overtime on Friday, and you can gain a lot of confidence in a win like that."
Mayo says that Cambridge, which won back-to-back 1A titles in 1995 and 1996, is big and fast. "They're like the Seneca Valley of 1A," Mayo said. "They've won two or three state championships, and they've got that mystique like Seneca Valley."
Forestville will have to continue to play good defense; the Knights have allowed only 74 points in 11 games and have shut out four opponents.
Paul VI vs. No. 3 DeMatha
What: WCAC championship.
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Where: RFK Stadium.
Records: Paul VI 8-3-1; DeMatha 10-0-1.
Analysis: DeMatha has won its past two meetings with Paul VI by a combined score of 105-0; the Stags beat the Panthers in the WCAC semifinal last fall, 63-0, and then again during the 1999 regular season, 43-0, on Oct. 15.
"I don't think that the [43-0] score indicated the type of game it was," DeMatha Coach Bill McGregor said. "We got up early on them and they threw an interception, and all of a sudden things started to snowball."
The Panthers will have to slow down DeMatha junior running back Anthony Riley, who rushed for 226 yards and two touchdowns in the team's first meeting. Riley ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns in DeMatha's 24-7 semifinal victory over McNamara on Saturday.
DeMatha must contain Paul VI's passing game, which is led by quarterback Collin Hannigan (17 touchdown passes and over 1,600 passing yards), wide receiver Andre Eason and 6-foot-7 tight end Tyree Spinner.
"The thing that always scares you in high school football is pass defense," McGregor said. "You never know what's going to happen."