Four MPSSAA Playoff Games to Watch: Regional Finals

Congratulations to the teams still in the hunt for a football state championship! While every game this week should be extremely exciting here are four games, one from each classification, that you'll definitely want to keep an eye on.

4A South: No. 3 Roosevelt (8-2, 8.03) at No. 1 Wise (10-0, 12.23)

Two-time defending state champion Wise faces a team that gave it a tough test during the regular season when it meets Roosevelt in the 4A South regional final.

Wise has won its last 39 games, with its last loss coming against DuVal in the regional semifinal round of 2014. This year the Pumas have maintained their streak of dominance, outscoring opponents 493-57. Wise's toughest game against an MPSSAA opponents came in Week 8 against Roosevelt, which finished 21-14. Quarterback Quinton Williams has been excellent in his first year of starting, tossing 25 touchdowns and 1,602 yards to just two interceptions. AJ Lytton has been his main target with 413 yards receiving and six touchdowns. Running back John "Moo-Moo" Oliver has continued his sensational high school career by rushing for 1,012 yards and 14 touchdowns. Tyrin Brooks and Christopher Rhodes leads the defense with 78 and 66 tackles respectively, while Demetri Morsell has six interceptions.

Roosevelt hasn't lost since dropping its Week 8 contest against Wise. The Raiders avenged their other loss of the season in the first round of the playoffs by beating CH Flowers 34-7. Quarterback Jaden Faulkner has been sensational, rushing for 1,242 yards, and throwing for an additional 871. He's scored 26 touchdowns. Faulkner is joined in the team's rushing attack by Elisha McDonald, who has run for 1,162 yards and 16 touchdowns. Spencer McMillion leads the team in tackles with 54, while Donald Jackson has 11 sacks. Solomon Douglas has picked off five passes.

Kickoff for this contest is 7 PM on Friday.

3A West: No. 2 Linganore (8-2, 9.00) at No. 1 Westminster (9-1, 10.01)

Westminster looks to avenge its lone loss of the season when it hosts Linganore in the 3A West regional championship.

The Owls lost to Linganore in Week 3, 50-28. Since then, Westminster has won all of its games by double digits. In the first round of the playoffs, the Owls scored 51 points in the first half to bury Watkins Mill early, eventually winning the game 58-18. Jaden Lucas ran for 88 yards and four touchdowns. Christian Etchison, who has had a sensational season quarterbacking the Owls with 1,728 yards and 23 passing touchdowns, didn't have to do as much as usual, but still contributed a rushing score. Westminster's defense has been led by TJ Schatz and Max Sommerville. Schatz has 87 tackles, while Sommerville has 78. Against Liberty, Tavian Montgomery had two interceptions, and also recovered a fumble.

Linganore has recovered from a tough two game stretch in Weeks 5 and 6 when the Lancers lost to Walkersville and Oakdale. The team brings a five game win streak with it to Carroll County this weekend, with the most recent victory being a 27-12 decision against Blake. Quarterback Ryan Leyh has been excellent this season, throwing for 1,577 yards and 14 touchdowns. His main receiver has been Joey Felton with 732 yards and seven touchdowns, though the passing game has been complimented by a superb ground attack. Davon Butler has been the key man there, rushing for 1,024 yards and 15 touchdowns. The defense has been led by Luke Freeman and his 101 tackles. Joe Bromley is next for Linganore with 71 tackles.

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

2A West: No. 2 Walkersville (10-0, 11.60) at No. 1 Damascus (10-0, 11.80)

It's rare two defending state champions face each other in the state playoffs, but that's what'll happen when Walkersville squares off with Damascus in the 2A West regional final.

Walkersville won last year's 2A state title in convincing fashion, topping Elkton in the final 33-6. The Lions have won their last 25 contests, with their most recent loss coming against Patuxent in the 2015 2A state championship. Walkersville opened its 2017 postseason campaign by beating Oakdale 31-16. The team's rushing attack has been sensational, with Jacob Wetzel running for 1,268 yards and 19 touchdowns. Christian Policelli has run for 662 yards and nine touchdowns, while Ty Littleton has gained 633 yards on the ground, and scored 12 times. On defense, Policelli leads the way with 92 tackles. Tyler Gleason 68 tackles, including 21 for a loss and five sacks. Jeremiah Sweet has nine sacks.

Damascus won the last two state championships at the 3A level before getting moved down to 2A this year. The Hornets have won their last 39 contests, with their most recent loss coming against Franklin in the 2014 3A state championship. Damascus has averaged over 300 yards rushing as a team per game, and that was definitely on display in the team's 2017 playoff debut. Last week Damascus jumped out to a 35-0 lead against Liberty, and that scoreline held until the final whistle. Ben Lokos, who averages an astonishing 15.83 yards per carry, scored on runs of 57 and 46, while Evan Purkey also ran for two touchdowns. TD Ayo-Durojaiye, who leads the team with 859 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, also scored once, while the Damascus defense recorded its third shutout of the season.

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

1A South: No. 2 Douglass-PG (7-3, 6.50) at No. 1 Lackey (8-2, 7.70)

Lackey looks to win its first regional title since 2007 when the team hosts Douglass from Prince George's County this weekend in the 1A South championship.

The Chargers last lost in Week 7 against Chopticon, but have outscored opponents since then 157-23. This includes Lackey's first round 57-6 victory against Surrattsville. To keep their season going, the Chargers will need another exceptional performance from quarterback Robert Middleton. Middleton has been a dual threat throughout the season, leading the team in rushing with 1,847 yards, while also throwing for 788 yards. He's run for 23 scores, and thrown eight touchdowns too. Jayson Wilmer has contributed in the rushing attack with 465 yards and five scores, while Jordan Carter and James Wilkerson have each caught 14 passes to lead receivers. Chris Thompson leads the defense with 99 tackles and 20 sacks. Jonathan Bridgett has picked off seven passes.

Douglass has recovered nicely from a stretch between Weeks 6 and 9 where the group dropped three of four games to tough competition. The Eagles, who last won a state title in 2014, have reeled off two straight shutouts, including topping Fairmont Heights 38-0 last week. Quarterback Ja'juan Payton has been the Eagles' catalyst on offense, rushing for 649 yards while also throwing for 562. Douglass likes to spread the ball around through- Kevin Broome, Steven Jones and Brian Epps Jr. all join Payton in rushing for over 300 yards. Jalen Grubbs has been the Eagles' main receiving threat with four receiving touchdowns, while Brooklyn McNair leads the defense with 84 total tackles.

Kickoff for this contest is scheduled for 7 PM this Friday.
November 14th, 2017By: Wick Eisenberg

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