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Previewing all four MPSSAA state football championships

Linganore quarterback Ryan Leyh has his Lancers in position for a title repeat. Photo by Austin McFadden.

Capsules for the Maryland Public School Secondary Athletic Association football championships. Note: all individual statistics are prior to state semifinal contests.

 

3A: No. 14 Linganore (12-1) vs. No. 21 Franklin (11-2), Thursday at 7

Weather at kickoff: 40 degrees, 0 percent chance of rain, 4 mph winds

Massey prediction: Linganore, 28-21 (66 percent chance of winning)

Last meeting: 2013, Franklin won 20-7

Play distribution: Franklin 51 percent run, 49 percent pass; Linganore 62 percent run, 38 percent pass

The Lowdown: In a rematch of the 2013 3A championship, this may be the lone title game that pits the two best teams across the classification. Linganore, aiming to fixate itself in the top five of state history with a seventh state title, has its championship-winning core back from a year ago in quarterback Ryan Leyh, leading rusher Davon Butler, speedy receiver Joey Felton (Yale commit), college-bound linemen Matt Beekey and Tre Briscoe, and bruising inside linebacker Jackson Ambush (Albany commit). Franklin, meanwhile, has resurged back to the title game for the first time since 2016. The Indians are headlined by Division I recruits in running back/linebacker Elijah Solomon (Villanova commit), tight end/linebacker Jay Thompson (Sacred Heart commit) and defensive lineman Robert Garrett.

Franklin keys to victory: Suppress Linganore’s versatile ground game behind Solomon, Thompson, and Garrett in the front-seven … Wreak havoc: Indians have a +20 turnover differential this year and need to add another “plus” Thursday … Get the passing attack going: Indians run a spread offense, the same formation Oakdale used to flummox Linganore earlier in the year, 56-7

Linganore keys to victory: Establish their hallmark ground presence early and often … Limit the big play: Franklin runs a spread, the same base offense Oakdale used to shred this Lancer secondary, 56-7, earlier in the year … Brainpower: Behind 17-year coach Rick Conner, these Lancers are one of the best at in-game adjustments. Look no further than the 19-point comeback in last year’s state title game

Franklin offensive leaders: QB Veron Brown 109 of 201 (54 percent) for 1,467 yards, 16 TDs, and nine INTs (85.6 QBR) … RB Elijah Solomon 140 attempts for 1,356 yards (9.7 YPC) and 16 TDs … RB Ja’Mon Murphy 41 attempts for 443 yards (10.8 YPC) and four TDs … WR Corey Crawford 19 receptions for 246 yards (13.0 YPR) and two TDs … WR Josh Wilson 17 receptions for 243 yards (14.3 YPR) and three TDs … TE Jay Thompson 16 receptions for 181 yards (11.3 YPR) and four TDs

Linganore offensive leaders: QB Ryan Leyh 79 of 138 (57 percent) for 1,528 yards, 22 TDs, and eight INTs (111.4 QBR) … RB Davon Butler 76 attempts for 706 yards (9.3 YPC) and 10 TDs … RB Johan Samayoa 93 attempts for 641 yards (6.9 YPC) and two TDs … RB Xander McClure 51 attempts for 430 yards (8.4 YPC) and three TDs … WR Joey Felton 46 receptions for 771 yards (17.0 YPR) and 10 TDs … FB Jackson Ambush 11 TDs

Franklin defensive leaders: DT Robert Garrett 110 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks … ILB Elijah Solomon 94 tackles, six blocked kicks … LB Wayne Brooks 76 tackles … LB Jay Thompson 71 tackles … LB Daniel Yarborough 61 tackles, three interceptions … DL Montre Harris 50 tackles, six sacks … DB Josh Wilson four interceptions

Linganore defensive leaders: ILB Jackson Ambush 85 tackles … DL Michael Bromley 69 tackles … DL Joey Bromley 52 tackles … OLB Cole Mitchell 45 tackles … NG Dustin Keith 42 tackles, eight sacks … DB Will Coletti 26 tackles, three interceptions

Joe Ferraro on Twitter

Offensive line paves the way for Linganore in state semifinal win over Chesapeake. https://t.co/8hGJJTwKcX @FrederickSports @linganorefb

4A: No. 13 Quince Orchard (12-1) vs. No. 22 North Point (13-0), Friday at 7:30

Weather at kickoff: 44 degrees, 6 percent chance of rain, 1 mph winds

Massey prediction: Quince Orchard, 34-14 (87 percent chance of winning)

Last meeting: 2017, Quince Orchard won 40-21

Play distribution: North Point 73 percent run, 27 percent pass; Quince Orchard 72 percent run, 28 percent pass

The Lowdown: This is a rematch of the 2017 state semifinals, it’s just legacy-forging hardware is on the line this time around. Quince Orchard makes its third straight finals appearance and enters Friday night’s contest on full blast after dethroning Wise, 31-6, the team that extinguished its title hopes in 2016 and 2017. North Point, on the other hand, is making its finals debut after holding off Mervo, 23-13. Quince Orchard will continue to ride its adamant formula of feeding standout running back Marquez Cooper (averaging 17 carries per game; totaled 155 yards on 33 touches last week vs. Wise) and dictate the tempo with a stifling defense led by three-year starter Johnny Hodges (Navy lacrosse commit) at linebacker. On the contrary, North Point quarterback Asa Williams (2,480 all-purpose yards, 37 total touchdowns) spearheads a pistol spread offense averaging 31 points per contest.

North Point keys to victory: Neutralize the line of scrimmage: Last week, Quince Orchard housed Wise, the three-time reigning state champions, up front and won convincingly. If the Eagles want to have a chance in the fourth quarter, the line scrimmage is priority number one … Two-dimensional success: The Eagles won’t solely win with the passing game, or solely on the ground. Quarterback Asa Williams and running back Corey Johnson need to coexist against the stifling Cougars defense … Somehow contain QO running back Marquez Cooper: No team has solved Cooper, a 1,700-yard rusher, this year.

Quince Orchard keys to victory: Ground and pound: The Cougars have obliterated every public school opponent this year with their forceful ground attack. Keep that well-oiled machine churning for another 48 minutes … Disrupt North Point quarterback Asa Williams (37 total touchdowns)

North point offensive leaders: QB Asa Williams 112 of 184 (61 percent) for 1,988 yards, 27 TDs and eight INTs (119.3 QBR), 107 rushing attempts for 492 yards (4.6 YPC) and 10 TDs … RB Corey Johnson 200 attempts for 1,275 yards (6.4 YPC) and 13 TDs … WR Malik Lawrence 58 receptions for 1,003 yards (17.0 YPR) and 14 TDs … WR Deandre Beverly 14 receptions for 350 yards (25.0 YPR) and nine TDs … WR James Warner 24 receptions for 300 yards (12.5 YPR) and two TDs

Quince Orchard offensive leaders: QB Brian Plummer 67 of 93 (72 percent) for 1,045 yards, 11 TDs and one INT (143.9 QBR) … RB Marquez Cooper 191 attempts for 1,688 yards (8.8 YPC) and 34 TDs … RB Jeremiah White 52 attempts for 525 yards (10.1 YPC) and seven TDs … WR Chris Webb 20 receptions for 226 yards (20.5 YPR) and one TD … WR Brendan McGonagle 14 receptions for 211 yards (26.3 YPR) and two TDs

North point defensive leaders: DL Cam’Ron In 92 tackles, seven sacks … LB Izzy Parker 72 tackles … DB Malik Lawrence 14 interceptions, three TDs … DB Micah Pr’out six interceptions, one TD

Quince Orchard defensive leaders: ILB Johnny Hodges 62 tackles … LB Tre’ Wade 54 tackles, two interceptions … DB Aaron Green 46 tackles … DB Charles Bell 41 tackles … OLB Dameioun Robinson seven sacks … DB Ronnell Dennis two interceptions

‘We knew this was our time’: No. 13 Quince Orchard flips script to dismantle No. 7 Wise

WashPost HS Sports on Twitter

In this week’s #allmets football notebook: @GlenelgSports and @_NPNation get ready for the state finals, @WisePumaSports reflects on a loss, @WoodsonFB comes to close to victory and @LandonSports looks ahead. https://t.co/jiUb4PrPIV

1A: No. 20 Fort Hill (12-0) vs. Frederick Douglass-PG (8-4), Saturday at 3:30

Weather at kickoff: 48 degrees, 38 percent chance of rain, 5 mph winds

Massey prediction: Fort Hill, 27-7 (88 percent chance of winning)

Last meeting: 2008, Fort Hill won 14-12

Play distribution: Fort Hill 87 percent run, 13 percent pass; Douglass 61 percent run, 39 percent pass

Preview coming soon

Mike Mathews on Twitter

Fort Hill cruises past Havre de Grace, into sixth straight state championship game: https://t.co/VN1TNRRUFY

Rich Scherr on Twitter

Dunbar’s 23-game winning streak ends in Class 1A state football semifinals, 20-6 https://t.co/N3W0aZK7Pf

2A: No. 6 Oakdale (12-0) vs. No. 23 Glenelg (13-0), Saturday at 7

Weather at kickoff: 48 degrees, 87 percent chance of rain, 7 mph winds

Massey prediction: Oakdale, 28-6 (92 percent chance of winning)

Last meeting: None

Play distribution: Glenelg 89 percent run, 11 percent pass; Oakdale 61 percent run, 39 percent pass

Preview coming soon

Tim Schwartz on Twitter

Everyone played a part in @hcpss_ghs’ dominating 35-0 win over @NTHS_Titans in a 2A state semifinal on Friday night. To watch all the highlights from the game, CLICK HERE: https://t.co/StFm86iSIk https://t.co/PPpfi0Y3LY

Greg Swatek on Twitter

Oakdale football team cruises into state football final, poised to hoist first trophy https://t.co/7enLw38JYT @FrederickSports @frednewspost @FCPSAthletics @OakdaleAthletic @OHSBearsFB

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