Schedules can be tricky. They can help build momentum with favorable matchups early in the season or prove unrelenting during tough stretches.
For Old Mill Coach Chad McCormick, it all depends on how you look at it.
As his Patriots brace themselves for a Week 3 clash at No. 20 Meade, McCormick believes that a grueling early-season schedule has been more of a blessing than a hindrance. Old Mill won in come-from-behind fashion at Broadneck, 35-21, before defeating Arundel, 24-14, last week.
Two weeks into their schedule, the Patriots have two wins over two of the best teams in the county with a third, Meade, possibly on the way.
“It’s one of those things where there’s no real let up right now,” McCormick said. “We’re just going from one tough opponent to the next. We’re getting better on the fly. We were a little bit better against Arundel than Broadneck, and hopefully the same goes this week against Meade.”
While championships are never won or lost in Week 3 of the regular season, that doesn’t diminish the importance of Friday night’s game. After exacting a measure of revenge last week against the Wildcats, the Patriots (2-0) will bring that same mindset to this week’s meeting with Meade. The Mustangs ended Old Mill’s season in the Maryland 4A East final last year.
“Our kids are really excited to play these guys,” McCormick said. “It’s going to be a heck of a football game.”
While McCormick said Old Mill’s preparation this week did not change, Meade Coach Rich Holzer shortened practices by 30 minutes in an effort to keep his players fresh. After winning by 20 points in each of the first two weeks, Holzer wanted to be sure that his players were ready to play a full four quarters.
The Mustangs (2-0) will spread the field with quarterback Marcus Smith, who also broke open a few long runs when the two teams last met. The Patriots will try to establish the run early against Meade’s stout defensive line.
“I think you’ve got two good teams. Somebody’s always going to come out on top, somebody’s going to lose,” Holzer said. “For us, it’s just about improving each week. Our main goal is not the regular season, it’s the playoffs. We’re focusing on improving each week and not necessarily one game during the regular season.”
In other Anne Arundel County action, South River (1-1) will travel to Broadneck (1-1) and Severna Park (1-1) will play at Chesapeake. The Cougars (1-1) are coming off their most lopsided victory in more than a decade.