Five MPSSAA Football Games to Watch: Week 9

North Point (8-0) at Northern-C (8-0)

The final undefeated teams in the SMAC square off in this Week 9 tilt.

North Point is yet to get seriously tested in 2017, with the team's closest contest being a 19-7 decision against Huntingtown. The Eagles' defense has been particularly superb- North Point has allowed less than 10 points six times this season, with three shutouts. Michael Troxel Jr. leads the way with 68 tackles, while Infiniti Stokes has 60 with a team high five sacks. Rasheed Walker also has five sacks, and Chelen Garnes has three interceptions. On offense, quarterback Jermichael Jones has thrown for 962 yards and seven scores, while also rushing for 604 yards and seven touchdowns. Joshua Crumb has eight scores and 463 yards on the ground.

Northern from Calvert County, which won just one game last year, has continued to thrive throughout its first season under new head coach Steve Crounse. The Patriots look assured of reaching the playoffs with a top two seed in the MPSSAA 3A South region, especially because Northern finishes it season at one-win Great Mills. Quarterback Reese Crounse has thrown 21 touchdowns to just one interception this season, while running back Xavier Harris has averaged just over 100 yards rushing per game, and has scored 20 times this season. Harris has also been the top receiver with 509 yards receiving, but Conlon Schlaeppi has done well too with 441 yards and five touchdowns. Seth Cranford leads the defense with 106 total tackles, while Skyler Barrett has four sacks.

Kickoff for this contest is scheduled for 7:00 PM this Friday.

Paint Branch (7-1) at Blake (7-1)

Paint Branch travels to Blake in this battle of two Montgomery County teams that look to be headed to the playoffs.

Paint Branch is coming off its biggest win of the season, which was a 22-20 decision on the road against fellow MPSSAA 4A North playoff contender, Sherwood. In that game, the Panthers jumped out to an early lead before having to hold off a furious Sherwood comeback. The game ended with a Paint Branch goal-line stand on a two point conversion attempt. It was the Panthers' first win over Sherwood since 2014. Quarterback Norman Douglas Jr. finished the game with 202 yards passing and a touchdown, as well as two rushing scores. He was part of a Paint Branch rushing attack that finished with 101 yards against Sherwood's stingy defense.

It's been an exciting season for the Blake football team, which sits second in the MPSSAA 3A West standings, and has already equaled the program's win total from the past three seasons. The Bengals have won seven straight contests since dropping their opener to Damascus. Quarterback Terrill Simms Jr. has thrown for 926 yards and five touchdowns, while running back Isaac Smith has been effective in multiple phases of the offense. Smith has 326 yards receiving, while also rushing for 705 yards and seven scores. Bryce Hamilton leads the defense with 75 total tackles, while Max Tempchin has 10 sacks. Brendan LeJeune has three interceptions.

Kickoff for this contest is scheduled for 6:30 PM this Friday.

Atholton (6-1) at Howard (8-0)

One-loss Atholton takes a trip to undefeated Howard in this Howard County match-up.

Riding a six game win streak, Atholton has put itself in good position to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2012, though will have a tough end to the season, facing Long Reach in the final week. The Raiders defense has been key to their success allowing eight points over their past four games and also recording two straight shutouts. The unit has been headlined by Jake Peretti who made headlines against Oakland Mills earlier this year when he set a state record for interceptions in one game with five. His 65 total tackles leads Atholton, with Cole Jefferson being next with 55. On offense, Melvin Brown has 404 yards rushing and three touchdowns, while Jordan Marsh has run for 358 yards and two scores.

Howard has kept its tradition going of being the team to beat in Howard County under first year head coach Ross Hannon. The Lions have been led by running back Devin Dawkins on offense. Dawkins ran for 94 yards and two scores in the team's most recent win against Hammond. That came a week after a three touchdown and 124 yard performance against Caravel from Delaware. Quarterback Robby Porter also had a strong showing against Hammond, throwing for two touchdowns and 138 yards. On defense, Erik Irby had four tackles and a sack against Hammond, while Emmanuel Stokes finished with tackles and an interception.

Kickoff for this contest is scheduled for 7:00 PM this Friday.

Perry Hall (6-2) at Parkville (6-2)

Two of Baltimore County's best square off with Parkville hosts Perry Hall in Week 9.

Perry Hall has won four straight to become a 6-2 this season. Quarterback Tyler Holley has been sensational, throwing for 2,023 and 24 touchdowns to just one interception. He's also run for 554 yards and 10 scores. Holley has spread the ball around, but DJ Claude Jr. has been his top target with 33 receptions for 715 yards and 10 touchdowns. Xavier George has 549 yards receiving nine scores, while Jake Magee has been superb along the offensive line. The defense has been led by CJ Larson and his 70 tackles, though Josh Harrison and Tahji McCain are right behind him with 69. Josh Addo has also done well with three interceptions and 59 tackles.

Parkville has built off its fantastic 7-2 campaign, and enters this contest 6-2. It's a young group for head coach Justin Payne- there are 30 potential returners for next year's team. The defense, which is led by leading tackler and linebacker Kevin Ruff, defensive tackle Keon Stokes, linebacker Erick Spencer, as well as safety Rodney Williams, averages a mere 10 points per game allowed. On offense, linemen Donye Stokes and Mark Quensel have excelled, and quarterback Devin Braun has benefited. Braun has thrown for 775 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 12 scores. Fullback Adam Bigalow has also been effective, scoring five rushing touchdowns.

Kickoff for this contest is scheduled for 1:00 PM this Saturday.

Kent Island (7-1) at North Caroline (8-0)

Two of the Bayside Conference's best face each other when Kent Island makes the trip to Caroline County to take on North Caroline.

Kent Island rebounded from its lone loss of the season to Oakdale by beating Easton 37-14. Trent Jackson has put together a strong season for the Buccaneers, throwing for 1,376 yards and 13 touchdowns to just three interceptions. Sean Mooney has been his main target with four touchdowns and 492 yards, while lead running back Dylan Finlay has scored 10 times and rushed for 647 yards. Kent Island faces a tough end to the 2017 season with a trip to county rival Queen Anne's in the final week of the season.

None of North Caroline's games have been close, with the Bulldogs winning each contest by at least 35 points. The team has allowed a mere 36 points this year, most of which have come after most of the starters are not playing. On offense, running back David Bailey, a Boston College commit, has been superb, scoring 27 touchdowns while only playing in the first half of games. Last week against JM Bennett, Bailey had 238 yards and four scores on just eight carries, while also catching a touchdown.

Kickoff for this contest is scheduled for 6:30 PM this Friday.
October 24th, 2017By: Wick Eisenberg

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