You Should Have Seen

SEVERN QUARTERBACK JAMAL JONES

He's been beaten up and injured, beaten down and defeated. A week ago, Jones would have ranked this season as a disappointment.

But one game changed all that.

For two hours, a season of frustrations and fatigue vanished for Jones and his teammates as they beat previously undefeated Bel Air, 21-14.

Jones completed 10 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns, a season high.

Running back Deon Peters added 121 yards on the ground.

"We needed this win," Jones said. "We sort of built our season around this game."

The undermanned but talented Severn team has suffered from cramps and injuries for much of this season. The Admirals have only 25 players on their roster, a number that pales next to most other teams in the MIAA A Conference.

A week before the Bel Air game, Severn Coach John Beckman pulled his team together and told his players: "Nobody gives us a chance in this game. We're playing on the road against an undefeated team.

"This is our chance to do something special."

Said Jones: "A big win like that can make all the hard stuff feel worthwhile.

You Should Have Seen

OLD MILL RUNNING BACK RYAN CALLAHAN

Okay, so you're tired of hearing about his prolific season.

But accomplishments this noteworthy are impossible to ignore:

With a modest three touchdowns in a 39-13 win over Southern on Friday, Callahan set a county record for touchdowns in a season, with 33.

He also rushed for 159 yards against Southern -- one of his lowest totals of the season -- and moved within 275 yards of the county's single-season rushing record, held by former Annapolis runner Eric Venerable.

Old Mill (8-1) has locked up a 4A playoff berth, meaning Callahan has at least two games left to break Venerable's record.

The junior running back, though, is more focused on helping Old Mill win a playoff game, which it hasn't done in six years.

"The individual stuff is great," Callahan said earlier this season. "But the big thing for me is going to be pushing this team through the playoffs. That would be the most special thing right there."

You Should See

SEVERNA PARK AT BROADNECK

Friday, 7:15

The immediate implications of this game are negligible; the historic significance is tangible.

Broadneck has already locked up the top seed in the 4A East division, but a win over the Falcons would make the Bruins the first team in county history to complete back-to-back undefeated seasons.

It's a goal the Bruins have privately pursued all season. "We want to do it again," quarterback Tony Marino said. "We want to dominate."

So far, they've been successful. The Bruins shut down good county teams -- like Severna Park -- on offense, and then wear down their defenses.

Last week against South River -- one of the county's highest-scoring teams -- Broadneck won, 21-0.

"We're playing for history," Marino said. "That's enough motivation for us.

You Should See

SOUTH RIVER AT ARUNDEL

Friday, 7:15

The teams are so different, the predicaments so similar.

South River (a run-heavy team that thrives on defense) and Arundel (a pass-happy team that scores 40 points per game) have played this season to practically identical results.

Both are fighting for 4A playoff spots. Both could secure a postseason future with a win.

A week ago, South River and Arundel were both in playoff position, ranked as the probable Nos. 3 and 4 seeds in their 4A division.

There's a chance that, regardless of the result in this game, both could still make the playoffs.

But here's another characteristic these two teams share: They'd both prefer to control their own future with a win.

You Should See

SOUTHERN AT ANNAPOLIS

Friday, 7:15

Both teams will get a chance to save erratic seasons with one solid game.

Southern would qualify for the playoffs with a win; Annapolis needs a victory to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.

The two teams have intermingled flashes of greatness with troubling letdowns this season.

Southern moves the ball effortlessly on the ground one game, then struggles to manage a few first downs the next.

Annapolis looks like an offensive juggernaut during some stretches (scoring 21 points in 10 minutes against Arundel early this season), but gives away leads quickly (surrendering 21 fourth-quarter points to Arundel that same game).

"With this team, I've always said it's about consistency," Annapolis Coach Brian Brown said. "If we're consistent, we'll be fine.

-- Eli Saslow

Severn senior quarterback Jamal Jones.Old Mill junior running back Ryan Callahan.