You Should Have Seen

ANDREW FERRIS

SEVERNA PARK RUNNING BACK AND SAFETY

A quick look at Ferris's face after his team's 30-28 loss to Old Mill last weekend revealed a lot about his playing style. He clenched his jaw and gritted his teeth. Blood ran from his nose. Mud decorated his cheeks.

"I'm just a hard-nosed player," Ferris said. "That's the only way I know how to play the game."

Against Old Mill, it proved effective. Ferris ran 17 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He provided the cornerstone for Severna Park's second-half comeback, carrying the ball six times on one scoring drive early in the fourth quarter.

In all, it was an impressive performance for a player who insists he's not a running back. "I'm just playing this position to help the team out," Ferris said. "I'm a safety. I'm a defensive player. That's what I'm really about."

Still, he looks natural carrying the ball. He has all the characteristics of a good high school back: good speed, excellent field vision and reliable balance. But what makes Ferris special is his fearlessness.

"I'll run the ball at anybody," Ferris said. "It might not be my natural position, but I'm going to give 100 percent. I'll take the hits and sacrifice my body. I'm never going to be afraid of a little contact."

You Should Have Seen

BROADNECK'S DEFENSE

Truth is, Broadneck's defense has become a must-see every week. Sure, the Bruins shut out Annapolis on Friday night for a 16-0 win, but that's more normal than notable.

Under motivating defensive coordinator Jeff Tonini, Broadneck has given up just six points all season. Back in the third-week game against Arundel -- one of the county's most efficient offensive teams -- Broadneck not only pitched a shutout, it allowed just three first downs.

Midway through the season, county teams have learned a hard lesson: If you want to beat Broadneck, you'd better hold the Bruins offense to, well, nothing.

"The way this defense is playing, that's what it will take," safety and kicker Chris Desautels said earlier this season. "We're just clicking. I don't think anybody is going to score big on us."

You Should See

SOUTH RIVER AT NORTH COUNTY

Friday, 7:15

North County has looked like a different team the last few weeks, which makes sense. It basically is one.

Two weeks ago, North County (2-3) returned seven starters who were previously ineligible. The result? Back-to-back wins for the first time in two years, including a 40-14 win over Meade last weekend. The remodeled Knights will get their toughest test yet against South River (3-2).

"Previously the feeling around the school was, 'Okay, we've got another football game this Friday, so we've got another loss,' " Coach Gary Liddick said. "At least now people have a sense of hope, and they feel that we can hang in there."

Credit much of that hope to Kendal Hammack, a cornerback who, after missing the first three games, came back to intercept a pass and return it for a touchdown in each of North County's two wins.

The Knights have also enjoyed solid play from quarterback John Snyder, a second-year starter with an accurate arm. "Right now," Liddick said, "we've got some confidence going."

Not bad for a team that hadn't scored a point all season before beating Chesapeake, 28-8, in the fourth game of the season.

"It's like night and day around here," Liddick said. "Anytime you win, you've accomplished your goal. I'm just so pleased and happy for the kids. Now they know that if they play their game, they're at least going to hang with somebody."

Severna Park's Andrew Ferris