WHAT HE BRINGS TO THE TEAM: Just about everything. Kelley, probably the Washington area's best football player this season, was recently offered a scholarship by Nebraska, according to Screaming Eagles Coach Terry Changuris. Kelley has a fearless attitude that catches on with teammates -- last season, he was even named an All-Met as a linebacker. Kelley has been hurt in the Screaming Eagles' two closest games this season, but returned in each (once from a foot injury, once from a mild concussion) to lead his team to victory.
Kelley, who is 6 feet 2, 200 pounds, is an accurate and strong passer with excellent running ability. Seneca Valley often lines him up in the shotgun and uses him as a tailback, which can make it seem as if the Screaming Eagles have 12 players on the field.
"He can throw the ball 60 yards downfield and he can do it rolling to his left -- that's a pretty big weapon," Changuris said. "He throws the ball downfield as far and accurate as any high school kid I've ever seen."
Key statistics: His 23 passing TDs (to just three INTs) are a school record. ... He has rushed for 888 yards and 11 TDs.
Wilde Lake (9-1) at No. 1 Seneca Valley (10-0)
KICKOFF: Tonight, 7:30.
OUTLOOK: Two of Maryland's perennial powerhouses meet in a Maryland 3A first-round game.
Most coaches agree that the Screaming Eagles are a heavy favorite to win another championship. The key for the Wildecats will be containing Kelley, who has had success in every game either running or passing. LeVar Scott (18.1 yards per catch, five touchdown catches) and Anthony Pierouchakos (20 yards per catch, seven touchdown catches) are Seneca Valley's top receivers.
Running back Mario Merrills leads Wilde Lake's offense, but the Wildecats will not want to get into a shootout. They averaged 21.3 points per game and Seneca Valley, which had the area's second-most prolific offense (behind Park View), averaged 39.5.