No. 20 Surrattsville at Fort Hill
At stake: A berth in the Maryland 1A final on Dec. 7 at M&T Bank Stadium
Watch for: Surrattsville’s defense will have to hold its ground against a Fort Hill (12-0) offense that’s scored more than 40 points per game nine times this season. The Hornets (10-2) have the weapons to keep pace offensively with running back Amaru Major, the D.C. area’s fifth-leading rusher with 1,967 yards on 198 carries, and quarterback Robert Harris III, the coach’s son who has plenty of capable targets to pick apart the Fort Hill defense. The biggest question is how Surrattsville, led by two juniors in Harris III and Major, will handle the intensity of a state semifinal game. If the Hornets can keep their composure under the lights in Cumberland, they could find themselves in position to upset the perennially powerful Sentinels.
Skinny: Simply put, Fort Hill has been on this stage before and Surrattsville has not. Fort Hill has won five of the last eight 1A West region titles, though the Sentinels haven’t advanced past the state semifinal since 2010. Surrattsville has never made it out of the 1A North region, so Saturday is the first ever state semifinal game in school history since the current playoff format was adopted. The Hornets gutted out a win over Sparrows Point in the regional final last week, while the Sentinels have yet to be challenged in this year’s postseason, outscoring opponents 95-13.