Mervo one win away from a Baltimore City Division I title
North Harford’s Dickerson ties Md. record for carries
This fall, Mervo’s football team was supposed to be rebuilding, but after an up-and-down start, the Mustangs are just a win away from Baltimore City’s Division I championship.
After beating Patterson, 37-0, Friday, the Mustangs (6-2) are 5-1 in the division with four teams trailing them by a game and just two weeks remaining in the regular season. They have one game left with one of those second-place teams — Poly — and if they win that game Friday night, the Mustangs will clinch the division title even if they drop their season finale against Digital Harbor.
The Mustangs have beaten the other three 4-2 teams — Dunbar, City and Douglass — so a win over Poly would give them the head-to-head edge over everybody in the final standings if there’s a tie.
If the Mustangs lose to Poly, several possible scenarios come into play because City, Douglass and Poly have two games remaining against other 4-2 teams.
“We really don’t want to get caught up in the ‘what-ifs,’ ” Mervo coach Patrick Nixon said. “If we lose, we’ll be caught up in whole bunch of ties, so we’re hoping we can handle business. Staying focused is really the.key.” On a roll: Two area teams aim to keep lengthy league winning streaks going as they head into the ninth week of the season Friday night.
No. 5 Howard (8-0) has won 32 straight games in Howard County play and hasn’t lost to a county opponent since falling to Reservoir, 13-6 on Oct. 11, 2013. Friday night, the Lions travel to Glenelg to compete for the Elgard Trophy. The Gladiators have won eight of the past 12 meetings in the rivalry, but the Lions have taken three of the past four, including the past two.
No. 6 Old Mill (8-0) has won 26 straight Anne Arundel County league games. The Patriots’ last league loss came Sept. 12, 2014, 14-7 against Arundel. Unlike Howard, the Patriots play Anne Arundel opponents in the playoffs and Old Mill lost to Broadneck in last year’s Class 4A East regional opener, so their streak is only in league play.
This week, the Patriots host Meade (5-4), which has had an up-and-down season. Awin by Old Mill on Friday could set up a season-finale battle of unbeatens with Annapolis for the county championship Nov. 4. That’s a record: North Harford running back Cole Dickerson was sidelined by an injury during Friday’s game at Bel Air, but he did the work of two backs the previous week.
In the Hawks’ 35-34 win over Fallston on Oct. 14, Dickerson ran the ball 56 times, tying the state record for most carries in a game. He gained 261 yards, scored four touchdowns and suffered the bruised knee that kept him out of the loss to Bel Air.
Hawks coach Gene Liebel usually runs two backs, but on homecoming, JT Kidd was “unavailable,” the coach said, declining to elaborate.
“Cole said, ‘With JT out, I’ll carry the load for us,’ ” Liebel said. “It was homecoming, he wanted the ball, so we kept giving it to him.”
Dickerson said he had never carried the ball near that many times in a game.
“I knew I had to take the whole workload on,” Dickerson said. “It was almost unbelievable. I knew it was a lot of carries, but I didn’t know it was that many.”
Dickerson tied the record set by Kent Island’s Evan Greenwood, also against Fallston, in a playoff game Nov. 22, 2013. By the numbers: Here’s a look at a few of the key statistics after Week 8.
3: Teams unbeaten in the MIAA A Conference — Archbishop Spalding, St. Frances and Mount Saint Joseph.
5: Undefeated teams remaining in the Baltimore area — Annapolis, Old Mill, Howard, Hereford and Reginald Lewis.
55: Yards of total offense allowed by Century in a 46-6 win over Winters Mill.
268: Yards rushing by Archbishop Curley’s Tyrone Roper, who ran 23 times and scored twice in the Friars’ 39-6 win over St. Paul’s.
368: Yards gained by Archbishop Spalding quarterback Evan Fochtman — 206 passing, 162 rushing — in a 31-16 win over McDonogh.