Maryland 4A East Region Final
Who: Old Mill (10-1) at Broadneck (10-1)
Kickoff: Friday at 7 p.m.
To the winner: A spot in the state semifinals next weekend.
How Old Mill got here: The Patriots beat county rival Arundel, 29-16, thanks to a stout defense that held the Wildcats scoreless in the second half.
How Broadneck got here: The Bruins dominated Patuxent, 37-8, after jumping ahead by three touchdowns in the first 15 minutes.
Broadneck punter Chris Desautels vs. Old Mill punt returner Ryan Callahan
They're more established as a place kicker (Desautels) and a running back (Callahan), but Friday each will be more important in his secondary role. Callahan has returned three punts for touchdowns this season, including one against Broadneck. "He can change a game in a second," Broadneck Coach Jeff Herrick said, "and we're not going to let him."
To make sure, Desautels has spent considerable time over the last two weeks working on placing his punts. Against Patuxent, Desautels -- known more for leg strength -- pinned three punts inside the 20-yard line.
Broadneck quarterback Tony Marino vs. Old Mill's secondary
Against pass-heavy Arundel, the Patriots' defensive backs had two interceptions and five pass deflections, a performance they'll need to equal this week. Marino is steady and accurate, having thrown twice as many touchdown passes as interceptions. Old Mill's secondary, meanwhile, is audacious and erratic.
"We go for some big plays," Old Mill Coach Mike Marcus said. "Sometimes we like to gamble."
Their fate may hinge on how those gambles pay off.
-- Eli Saslow