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Maryland 4A football semifinals: Quince Orchard-Westminster, Meade-Wise battle for spots in state final

Benjamin Robinsand Wise are one win away from returning to a third state final in four seasons. (Toni L. Sandys/THE WASHINGTON POST)

Maryland 4A semifinal

No. 7 Quince Orchard at Westminster

Friday, 7 p.m.

At stake: A berth in the 4A final on November 30 at M&T Bank Stadium

Watch for: Quince Orchard’s ability to run the football in order to control the clock and keep Westminster’s potent offense off the field. The Cougars (11-1) have found rhythm in their running game with the bruising style of Tyrell Williams and the quick feet of D’Andre Johnson — the two combined for over 200 yards rushing and five touchdowns in last week’s 41-7 win over Northwest. Quince Orchard’s defense will have its hands full with Westminster (12-0) quarterback Deryk Kern, considered one of the top passers in the state, so winning the time of possession could prove critical.

Quince Orchard running back D'Andre Johnson is one half of the Cougars’ dynamic backfield duo. (Doug Kapustin/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Skinny: Quince Orchard is hoping to return to the 4A state title game for the second consecutive year. The Cougars have allowed just 36 points in the past seven weeks, but meet a Westminster offense that has scored 123 combined points in two easy playoff wins over Blake and Sherwood.

Maryland 4A semifinal

No. 12 Meade at No. 3 Wise

Saturday, 1 p.m.

At stake: A berth in the Maryland 4A final on Nov. 30 at M&T Bank Stadium

Watch for: Wise’s running game. Behind 6-foot-4, 310-pound senior lineman Antonio Harris, the Pumas (12-0) have averaged more than 250 rushing yards per game this season. Senior Chase Powell (1,401 yards, 26 touchdowns) missed time late in the season with a high ankle sprain but returned for last week’s 41-6 region final win over Suitland in which Wise attempted only three passes. The team’s leading rusher should be closer to full strength against the Mustangs (10-2).

Skinny: Wise is making its fourth state playoff appearance in five years but has never won the state title, while Meade took advantage of its first playoff berth in 11 years with a surprising run to the East region title.

Roman Stubbs covers the University of Maryland athletics for The Washington Post.
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