The playoffs are underway in Maryland and Virginia as local schools begin the march toward a state title. We’ll have stories, photo galleries, videos and box scores from every game featuring area schools later tonight. But for now, here’s an early look at some of the notable games on tonight’s schedule.
Did you witness a crazy comeback or a big upset? Let us know what you saw tonight in the comments below.
Scroll to the bottom of the article for scores and be sure to check out the playoff brackets for Maryland, Virginia and D.C. right here.
● ARUNDEL KNOCKS OFF No. 8 OLD MILL: For the second straight week the Wildcats take down a ranked opponent, this time dealing the Patriots their first defeat of the year in a 25-22 thriller in Millersville. We’ll have a full story from this game later tonight.
●FALLS CHURCH 24, ALBEMARLE 23: The Jaguars, playing in their first playoff game since 1978, hang on for a narrow win to remain unbeaten at home this season.
● No. 13 STONE BRIDGE ROLLS: The No. 13 Bulldogs are playoff veterans and wasted no time taking it to Lee in Friday’s 6A North first-round game. Sterling Dailey ran wild and Stone Bridge cruised to a 55-7 victory.
● No. 4 BRIAR WOODS 57, POTOMAC FALLS 0: The Falcons, winners of three straight state championships, passed their first 5A postseason test with flying colors.
● URBANA 35, No. 6 DAMASCUS 34: For the second straight year, the Hawks take out the Swarmin’ Hornets in a first-round playoff contest.
● No. 12 PATUXENT 49, HAMMOND: The Panthers scored at least 20 points in every game during the regular season, but they brought out the heavy offensive artillery for their playoff opener, posting their highest point total of the season in the 2A South semifinals. Patuxent will face the winner of Saturday’s Douglass-Gwynn Park game.
● No. 17 NORTHWEST 36, GAITHERSBURG 7: On a field painted tan with black lines to match their all-black uniforms and black-clad crowd, the Jaguars beat the Trojans in a game where everything — from those uniforms and the field to balls thrown by quarterback Mark Pierce and the routes run by his receivers — seemed to match up perfectly.
Sophomore Pierce threw four touchdowns in the game, and had 243 of his 300 yards by the end of the first half. Pierce hit receivers for five plays of 30 yards or more, completed nine of his 14 passes, and engineered a big-play offense that needed just 27 plays to put up 36 points.
After a slow first quarter, Pierce found his range .More specifically, he found receiver Matthew Watson, who scored on 58-yard and an 85-yard touchdown passes within five minutes of each other. He finished the day with four catches for 197 yards.
“In the second quarter, Matthew Watson made those two long plays and we knew we had the momentum on our side,” Pierce said. “It’s just short patterns. I get the ball to him — he’s gone. He’s a fast track runner, so get the ball in his hands and things happen.”
Those big-play strikes sandwiched a redzone interception of Gaithersburg quarterback Nick DeCarlo, who threw for 263 yards and two interceptions on the day. As Northwest interceptions frustrated the Trojans (8-3), the Jaguar defense delivered another demoralizing blow when Rodney Snider, who had one of those interceptions, picked up a fumble in the midst of a nine-minute Trojan drive and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. Gaithersburg wouldn’t recover.
“The defense had been on the field for like nine minutes, so it kind of caught us a break,” Pierce said. “Everyone on the sideline was running down the field, everyone was cheering. I think we knew the game was over.”
The win sends Northwest (9-2) into a 4A West regional final matchup with Quince Orchard, who the Jaguars upset 35-21 two weeks ago.
● DOMINION GETS A PLAYOFF WIN: Spurred by a tip-drill, 32-yard touchdown reception by Luke Thompson in the closing moments of the first half, Dominion stomped King George, 35-13 – the Titans first-ever playoff win.
Junior receiver Chad Smith and Thompson each scored twice for Dominion (7-4), which led 21-7 at the break.
“Long story short, we just wore them down,” said Titans Coach Karl Buckwalter. “We were bigger than them, and our kids were very disciplined on defense.”
That discipline came in handy as the Titans bottled up the Foxes single-wing attack all evening. On offense, Dominion milked the clock with lengthy drives once it jumped out to a two-score lead.
With the win, Dominion will travel to face Salem – 49-27 winners over Fauquier – next week.
"This win was huge, but our kids aren’t satisfied,” Buckwalter said. “They’re excited for the opportunity."
FRIDAY’S SCORES (more to come here)
McKinley 44, Eastern 12
Phelps 13, Theodore Roosevelt 6
Arundel 25, No. 8 Old Mill 22
Huntingtown 12, Westlake 6
Lackey 14, Stephen Decatur 6
Linganore 47, South Hagerstown 16
No. 20 Meade 41, Broadneck 31
Middletown 45, Poolesville 6
No. 17 Northwest 36, Gaithersburg 7
No. 15 Paint Branch 42, Sherwood 7
No. 12 Patuxent 49, Hammond 0
Perry Hall 28, Howard 14
No. 10 Quince Orchard 42, Clarksburg 21
Reservoir 34, Glenelg 13
South Carroll 38, Catoctin 27
Urbana 35, No. 6 Damascus 34
No. 4 Briar Woods 57, Potomac Falls 0
Broad Run 35, Freedom-Woodbridge 6
No. 2 Centreville 35, South Lakes 0
Colonial Forge 47, Thomas Dale 26
Courtland 15, Pulaski Co. 0
Dominion 35, King George 13
Eastern View 35, E.C. Glass 32
Falls Church 24, Albemarle 23
Forest Park 21, Patrick Henry 6
Grassfield 28, Tallwood 22
GW-Danville 37, Charlottesville 33
No. 7 Hylton 19, Cosby 16
James Monroe 31, Armstrong 12
Kettle Run 35, Skyline 7
Lafayette 57, Spotsylvania 0
No. 3 Lake Braddock 56, Chantilly 31
No. 18 Langley 28, Battlefield 21
Loudoun Valley 41, William Monroe 12
Massaponax 60, Edison 22
Mountain View 21, Potomac 7
North Stafford 43, Jefferson 7
Ocean Lakes 41, Woodside 7
Oscar Smith 35, Bayside 0
Robinson 35, Patriot 13
Salem 49, Fauquier 27
Sherando 49, Amherst County 15
South County 51, T.C. Williams 27
No. 13 Stone Bridge 55, Lee 7
Stonewall Jackson 42, No. 19 Washington-Lee 34
Tuscarora (Va.) 35, Mount Vernon 27
Varina 26, Woodbridge 21
Warren County 35, Park View (SH) 23
No. 11 Westfield 33, Hayfield 12
Western Branch 35, Cox 7
Yorktown 12, Fairfax 7