The Washington Post

Maryland 2A football preview: Douglass seeks revenge against Middletown

Middletown’s Zach Welch, shown here shaking off Douglass senior D'Sean Cummings, rushed for three touchdowns in last season’s Maryland 2A final, which the Knights won 43-6. The teams meet again for the title on Saturday in Baltimore. (Toni L. Sandys/WASHINGTON POST)

Maryland 2A final

When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore

Tickets: $8

How they got here: Douglass (12-1) has won 10 straight games to earn another chance at its first state title after falling 43-6 to Middletown in last season’s final. The Knights (13-0) punched their ticket back to the title game with a 45-0 victory over Elkton in last Friday’s semifinal.

When Douglass has the ball: Freshman quarterback Devin Butler accounted for five touchdowns in last week’s win over Edmondson-Westside and continues to impress with his command of Coach J.C. Pinkney’s triple-option attack. The Eagles prefer to pound the ball on the ground and pick their spots to look downfield for senior wide receiver Paul Harris. After catching five touchdowns in the regular season, the Tennessee commit has reached the end zone six times in three postseason games.

When Middletown has the ball: The Eagles are plenty familiar with Middletown running back Zach Welch after he piled up 168 rushing yards and three touchdowns in last season’s state final. Welch, a senior who is orally committed to Monmouth, remains the top threat on an offense averaging nearly 40 points per game. He has 2,236 yards on the ground and 29 touchdowns this season.

Skinny: Last December, Middletown pulled away from Douglass with 27 unanswered second-half points to take its first state title in dominating fashion. This time, the Knights can close out their first perfect season, and the Eagles will need to do a better job stopping the run if they’re going to flip the result.



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