Eighth-ranked Seneca Valley had its top offensive player go to the hospital in the first half and the Screaming Eagles' defense never found a way to slow down host Westminster in a 38-20 loss in the Maryland 3A West Region final before 3,500 last night.
Running back Shawn Perry, who scored five touchdowns in Seneca Valley's opening playoff victory, was taken to Carroll County General Hospital after injuring his back during a kickoff return midway through the first quarter. Perry, who minutes earlier had scored on a 58-yard run, returned just before halftime, but by that point the Screaming Eagles (10-2) had fallen behind 26-6.
"They took X-rays and I told them I didn't want to stay," Perry said.
Running back Ryan Finch scored five touchdowns and accounted for 429 total yards as the Owls (11-1) advanced to next week's Maryland 3A semifinals.
Finch scored on a 48-yard run on Westminster's first possession, then returned the kickoff 90 yards for another score after Perry had tied the game. He finished with 173 yards rushing, 109 receiving and 147 on two kickoff returns.
Perry played in the second half and scored on a 69-yard run in the third quarter. He finished with 163 yards on 12 carries; teammate Christian Stahl had 129 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries. But Seneca Valley had six turnovers and could not keep up with Westminster's offense.
"We played awful on special teams and defense and offensively we turned the ball over [six] times and you're not going to have any chance against a team like that," Seneca Valley Coach Fred Kim said.
Sherwood Enjoys a Second Straight Romp
Something didn't feel right to Sherwood quarterback Deontay Twyman as he walked off the field following another one-sided shutout victory.
Can the playoffs be this easy?
"I wondered that a little bit," the junior said after throwing for 307 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-0 victory at Perry Hall to win the Maryland 4A North Region title in Baltimore. "We kind of wished we got tougher opponents. But we know that any of the teams we face from here on aren't going to be like this. They're not going to be easy."
No. 7 Sherwood (11-1) will face the winner of today's 4A South final between No. 10 C.H. Flowers and No .5 Douglass in its ninth trip to the state semifinals. The Warriors will go in with a world of confidence, having won its two regional playoff games by a combined 87-0.
"We wanted to come in here and make a statement," said senior wide receiver Ben Everett, who caught eight passes for 164 yards and two scores. "We don't want to just beat people. We want to beat them badly."
Sherwood has rebounded from its only loss -- 25-7 to Damascus -- with five straight victories by an average of 36 points. The Warriors snagged the first of their four first-half interceptions on the second play from scrimmage for Perry Hall (11-1), and on the next play, senior Damond Merritt ran 68 yards for a touchdown.
Shortly thereafter, there was a 20-minute delay when four of the field's light beams went dark. That was the only thing that slowed the Warriors.