Maryland 4A Semifinals

Sherwood at Douglass

* When: Saturday, 1.

* Records: Sherwood 11-1; Douglass 12-0.

* Playoff history: After a two-year hiatus, Sherwood is back in the postseason and trying to return to the state final. The Montgomery County school lost in the title game in 2000 and 2002, with championships in 1995 and 1996. The Warriors have a veteran coaching staff; between them, Coach Al Thomas and assistant Terry Changuris have been the head coach of 14 state championship teams. Douglass is in the state semifinals for the fifth time in school history.

* What to watch: If last week is any indication, this could be a high-scoring game. After moving from the Montgomery-loaded 4A West to the Baltimore-based 4A North, Sherwood waltzed through the regional playoffs, winning its games by a combined 87-0. The Warriors have a potent offense, led by junior quarterback Deontay Twyman, who has passed for 2,252 yards and 32 touchdowns. His favorite target is wide receiver Ben Everett, who has 1,237 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns. Coming off a 45-30 victory over C.H. Flowers, the key for Douglass will be to use its size. Few teams are as physical as the Eagles, with linemen Marcus Perrin and Ryan Brooks leading the way up front. Linebackers Derron Hall, Jerrell Wedge and Greg Bowyer are hard hitters. Expect Sherwood to try to take away the short passing game and force Douglass quarterback Davon Gray to throw downfield.

Maryland 3A Semifinals

River Hill at Gwynn Park

* When: Saturday, 1.

* Records: River Hill 11-1; Gwynn Park 12-0.

* Last meeting: Gwynn Park, 49-21, on Nov. 15, 2003, in regional semifinals.

* Playoff history: In its third consecutive postseason appearance, River Hill is enjoying its most successful season ever, defeating Long Reach and Severna Park to win the East Region title. The Hawks' previous two seasons ended with losses to Prince George's County teams. Gwynn Park, in its sixth consecutive playoff appearance, is in the semifinals for the second time in three seasons. The Yellow Jackets lost to Linganore, 7-0, in the 2003 semifinals; their only state final appearance was a loss to Urbana in 2000.

* What to watch: Gwynn Park has perhaps the most talented team in the Washington area and the Yellow Jackets have outclassed their opposition thus far, beating Charles County powers Westlake and Lackey despite racking up 31 penalties for 213 yards. Watch for Gwynn Park to take advantage of its speed. Wide receiver Quintin McCree is a game breaker; he had the game-winning touchdown pass against Westlake and against Lackey had a punt return for a touchdown called back because of a penalty. For a change of pace, the Yellow Jackets can go to the power running of William Little, who went for 97 yards and two touchdowns against Lackey. Gwynn Park also is big and physical up front, led by Phillip Taylor. Although River Hill averages 31.9 points per game, expect the Hawks to try to slow things down and control the clock. Running back Nick Campanaro has rushed for more than 1,400 yards and scored 18 touchdowns.

Maryland 2A Semifinals

Potomac at Joppatowne

* When: Saturday, 1.

* Records: Potomac 10-2; Joppatowne 10-2.

* Playoff history: Both teams are trying for their third consecutive appearance in the state finals. The Wolverines lost to Aberdeen in overtime in 2003, but came back last year and beat Hereford. No Prince George's County team has ever won consecutive state titles. Joppatowne, located northeast of Baltimore, competed in the Maryland 1A division in the past, winning a state title in 2003 and losing to Dunbar in last year's championship game.

* What to watch: Potomac seems to have it all. The Wolverines have a talented running game with Adrian McLeod and Antonial Coles. Quarterback James Nickens has thrown 15 touchdown passes, six to wide receiver Bobby Shannon, a basketball player who joined the team late in the season. The Wolverines also have been solid defensively, allowing more than 12 points only three times this season. The key for Potomac could be dealing with the Mariners' power running game. David Dudley has rushed for nearly 2,000 yards despite the fact that opponents usually know what they are getting. Joppatowne attempted only one pass in its 30-24 victory over Stephen Decatur in the 2A East Region final.

Schedule

Maryland 4A Semifinals

Tomorrow's game

Old Mill (10-2) at Damascus (12-0), 7

Saturday's Game

Sherwood (11-1) at Douglass (12-0), 1:30

Maryland 3A Semifinals

Tomorrow's Game

City (11-1) at Westminster (11-1), 7

Saturday's Game

River Hill (11-1) at Gwynn Park (12-0), 1:30

Maryland 2A Semifinals

Tomorrow's Game

Potomac (10-2) at Joppatowne (10-2), 7

Saturday's Game

South Carroll (9-3) vs. Milford Mill (11-1) at Woodlawn, 1:30

Wide receiver Quintin McCree (15) provides Gwynn Park with big plays. He scored the winning touchdown in a playoff game against Lackey.