Prep football notes - How important is a victory?

November 01, 2002|by MARK KELLER

In the course of a high school football season, every win that a team can muster turns out to be important.

But as the season wears on and winds down, the wins at the end of a season carry just a little more meaning, even for those teams that are not in playoff contention.

Below is a look at exactly how important a win is to each team in the area this weekend. (Note: Jefferson is idle this week.)


Middletown (7-1) at South Hagerstown (6-2): A win and some help would get the Knights, currently ninth in the 2A points, into the top eight entering the final week of the season and would clinch at least a share of the MVAL title. A Rebels win would solidify their hold on the 1A West region lead and set them up to clinch their first playoff berth. They would also earn at least a share of their first MVAL title.

North Hagerstown (2-6) at Boonsboro (4-4): A Hubs win would end the six-year stranglehold Boonsboro has in the series and give them momentum going into the Hagerstown Gridiron Championship Classic against South Hagerstown. The Warriors will keep their ever-slimming playoff hopes alive with a victory. They are 13th in Class 1A. With only eight teams advancing, they'll need help.

Smithsburg (2-6) at Brunswick (4-4): The Leopards will end a five-year drought against the Railroaders with a victory and get them back on track before their meeting with county rival Boonsboro. With very few bonus points in the bank, Brunswick's postseason dreams are gone. The Railroaders will shoot for their fourth winning season in five years and a finish in the top half of the MVAL.

Catoctin (5-3) at Francis Scott Key: Sitting 12th in the 1A points, the Cougars need a win over FSK to push them into position to steal a playoff spot. A loss means no postseason.

Walkersville (4-4) at Williamsport (0-8): The Lions have won two straight since a three-game skid took them out of the playoff race. A win would clinch their first non-losing season since 1999. A Williamsport win would keep the Wildcats from their first winless season since 1987 and end their current 16-game losing streak ... and a 16-year drought against Walkersville.

Hundred at Hancock (3-4): A win would give the Panthers an opportunity at their first winning season since 1990 (5-4).

St. James (3-5) at St. John's at Prospect Hall (5-0): The Saints have lost four straight games and five of six. A win would help them end the season on a high note, particularly against St. John's, where former Saint Brandon Monroe now stars. A win for the Vikings would continue their improbable run at an unbeaten season in their inaugural year of football.

Frederick (1-7) at Liberty: The Cadets are in the middle of a five-game losing streak, there longest since a 13-game skid from 1997-99. A win would end that streak and get them rolling in the right direction before playing rival Thomas Johnson next Saturday.

South Carroll at Thomas Johnson (4-4): The Patriots beat South Carroll nine straight times before losing to the Cavaliers last season. A win would be the third straight for the Patriots (their first such streak since 1999) and would put them above .500 and in position to get their first winning season since that same year.

Musselman (3-6) at Martinsburg (9-0): The Applemen haven't lost back-to-back games to Martinsburg since 1993-95 and a win would earn them a share of the Cumberland Valley Athletic League title. The Bulldogs will complete its first unbeaten season 1976 with a victory and assure themselves of no less than third in the Class AAA playoff ratings.

Hampshire at Hedgesville (2-6): Playing their first game against Hampshire since 1997, the Eagles would extend their winning streak over the Trojans to eight games with a win.

Berkeley Springs (5-3) at East Hardy: The Indians, who appeared to be a lock for their first postseason berth after beating Hancock on Oct. 4, are 18th in the West Virginia Class AA ratings. Only 16 teams make the playoffs. A win will keep their hopes of sneaking in alive.

Carlisle at Chambersburg (2-7): The Trojans have lost three straight to Carlisle, two of which have been by three points. A win would keep the Trojans from their worst season since a 2-9 campaign in 1987.

Shippensburg at Greencastle-Antrim (2-7): The Blue Devils have beaten Shippensburg the last five years and want to continue that streak in order to finish the season on an up note.

James Buchanan (1-8) at Camp Hill: In addition to pulling a huge upset, a win would be the Rockets' first win over Camp Hill since 1995 and end their eight-game losing streak this season.

Mercersburg Academy (0-8) at Kiski School: The Blue Storm's 14-game losing streak is their longest since a 17-game skid from 1991-93. A win would keep them from their first winless season since 1992, the year before coach Andy Schroer took over the program.

Waynesboro (1-8) at East Pennsboro: Another win that would be a major upset, the Indians would end a five-game losing streak and, for just the second time since 1994, keep them from finishing the season on at least a three-game losing streak.

Player of the Week

Josh Keeney, Middletown: For the second straight week, the Knights' senior running back takes the honor. He rushed for 180 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Knights to a 37-0 victory over Boonsboro last Friday.

Other top performances last week included:

Jamar Garner, Thomas Johnson: The senior running back ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots won their second straight, 33-7 over Liberty.

Bobby Waugh, North Hagerstown: The senior running back led the Hubs to a 20-6 win over Smithsburg with 187 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Mo Rodriguez, St. James: Rodriguez rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns in the Saints' 21-14 loss to Bishop Walsh.

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