Friends RB Samuels nears 1,000-yard season again
St. Frances’ upset of Spalding boosts its stock in national polls
On the drive to Saturday’s football game, the father of Friends running back Kavon Samuels told him he needed a 300-yard rushing game. That would almost assure the junior he would go over 1,000 rushing yards for a third straight year. Samuels almost made it. He ran for 297 yards, which is believed to be a school record, and scored three touchdowns in the Quakers’ 30-6 win over visiting Hancock. He’s 89 yards shy of another 1,000yard season with one game left.
Samuels said he had no idea that he had run for so many yards.
“There was just a priceless face in my expression,” Samuels recalled after his father told him his total after the game. “I was just like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I could do that.’ ”
Friends coach Jason Murphy said Samuels, 5 feet 7, 160 pounds, has scored about three-quarters of the team’s touchdowns this season. He has 10 for the Quakers (2-6), who compete in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference.
“He’s a workhorse and he works very hard,” the first-year coach said. “We have a lot of great athletes but he’s one of the sparks. He’s a burst of energy.”
In addition to his offensive performance, Samuels had two interceptions at safety, a position that’s new for him after starting at corner last season. He also had a sack, a pass deflection and 10 tackles.
Samuels, who wants to play high-level college football, is beginning to draw attention. Murphy said William & Mary and Stevenson are among the programs that have contacted him.
“He has a good mind for the game,” Murphy said, “and I like the way he plays the game. He plays the game for his teammates, and he loves playing and more than anything, that’s what he’s about.”
Samuels will try to complete his 1,000-yard rushing season when the Quakers host St. John’s College Prep in their season finale Friday at 4 p.m. Kavon Samuels On the national stage: St. Frances’ upset of then-No. 1 Archbishop Spalding on Friday night boosted the Panthers’ stock in the national polls.
St. Frances, which earned its first No. 1 ranking in The Baltimore Sun’s Top 15, is ranked No. 56 in the MaxPreps Freeman computer rankings. Spalding, which had been No. 37 last week, is No. 82 with McDonogh at 92.
In High School Football America’s poll, the Panthers are No. 38.
If St. Frances (9-1) can defeat Mount Saint Joseph on Saturday, it will have a chance to improve those rankings when it travels to Florida the following week to play IMG, which is ranked in the top three in those polls. Three-peat: Mervo clinched its third consecutive Baltimore City Division I championship with Friday’s 25-14 win over Poly.
The Mustangs are 6-1 in the division with one game remaining Friday at Digital Harbor. They have already beaten second-place teams Dunbar (5-2) and Douglass (5-2), so even if Mervo loses to Digital and there’s a tie at 6-2, the Mustangs claim the title on the head-to-head tie breaker.
In the win over Poly, which had been in a four-way tie for second place coming into the game, Rakim Lemon ran for two touchdowns and 116 yards. Terry Jones caught two touchdown passes from Carlos Davis and finished with five catches and 94 yards. Armani Addison had seven catches for 83 yards.
Davis connected with Jones on a 49-yard touchdown pass just after the half that turned out to be the game-winner.
To extend their season, however, the Mustangs will need a win over Digital Harbor and a little help. Four teams advance to the regional playoffs and they stand fifth in Class 4A North with an 8.01 points average. If the Knights fall to Catonsville on Friday and the Mustangs win, Mervo would earn its third straight regional playoff bid. By the numbers: Here are some of the other key statistics that stood out after Week 9 of the season.
4: Undefeated teams remaining in the Baltimore area — Annapolis, Old Mill, Hereford and Reginald Lewis.
7.5: Tackles for a loss by Broadneck’s Creek in a 28-20 win over Severna Park.
9: Interceptions in the past two weeks by St. Frances, including three by Darion McKenzie.
24: Points allowed by Reginald Lewis, the fewest of any Baltimore-area team.
40: Carries by Glenelg’s Wande Owens, who ran for 186 yards and three touchdowns, in a 25-20 upset of Howard. Darnell