Friends RB Sa­muels nears 1,000-yard sea­son again

St. Frances’ up­set of Spald­ing boosts its stock in na­tional polls

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Kather­ine Dunn kather­ine.dunn@balt­ twit­ kdunnsun

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

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