Seneca Valley 35, Annapolis 13
Seneca Valley senior Justin Warren wasn't bothered by the boos blasted at him from the Annapolis student section as he headed for the locker room at halftime. Warren, in his first season with the Screaming Eagles, scored a season-high five touchdowns, leading visiting Seneca Valley (8-2) to a 35-13 win against top-seeded Annapolis yesterday (9-2) in the 3A state semifinal game.
"The line works hard all year, they opened up the holes and did what they had to do," said Warren, a transfer from the suburbs of Philadelphia. "We heard they were a real good team. We were on our toes coming in."
Seneca Valley, which holds a Maryland-record 11 state titles, will meet at Calvert next weekend in the state semifinals. The Screaming Eagles have lost only one playoff game since 1996.
It is the second straight season the Panthers lost in the first round. Annapolis had four turnovers, including three fumbles. One of the turnovers led to a Seneca Valley touchdown.
"You can not make mistakes against a very good team and have a hope of winning," said Annapolis Coach Roy Brown. "They looked a little better than us. I think they have an opportunity to win it."
Seneca Valley (8-2) used a balanced attack and was able to stop the Panthers' running game. Warren had 170 yards rushing on 29 carries to increase his season total to 1,595 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Senior wide receiver T.J. Changuris, Coach Terry Changuris's son, had a career-high six catches for 77 yards.
"A father couldn't be prouder and Justin, what a great individual," Terry Changuris said. "I mean, if I had another son, that's what I'd want right there. He just does everything right."
The 15th-ranked Panthers got into trouble early, as they were pushed back 20 yards on the opening drive. On its second possession, Annapolis senior running back DeMario Harris scored on a 60-yard run to close the gap to 14-7 with 4 minutes 30 seconds left in the first quarter. But Seneca Valley scored on its first three drives, jumping out to a 21-7 halftime lead. Harris led the Panthers with 118 yards on 14 carries.
The key to Seneca Valley's win was its versatility.
"We knew we were going to have to pass some time," T.J. Changuris said. "Everyone in Montgomery County knows we run the ball. We have a running quarterback, but Brandon Chapman can throw the ball. I know he can. Now the state knows he can."