State cham­pi­onship games put off a week

Navy’s host­ing AAC ti­tle game Satur­day forced MPSSAA to make change

Baltimore Sun - - NFL - By Kather­ine Dunn

The Mary­land Public Sec­ondary Schools Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion made it of­fi­cial Sun­day that the state foot­ball cham­pi­onships will be moved back one week to Dec. 8, 9 and 10 at Navy-Ma­rine Corps Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in An­napo­lis.

Two lo­cal teams are still in the hunt for state ti­tles: Franklin and Havre de Grace. Franklin will play Da­m­as­cus for the Class 3A ti­tle Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.

Havre de Grace will meet Fort Hill for the 1A crown Dec. 10 at 3:30 p.m.

The cham­pi­onships, orig­i­nally set for the first week­end in De­cem­ber, had to be moved be­cause Navy will host the Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship Satur­day against Tem­ple.

No. 5 Franklin (11-1) de­feated Da­m­as­cus in the 2014 Class 3A fi­nal to win the sec­ond of two straight cham­pi­onships. Da­m­as­cus (13-0), how­ever, is the de­fend­ing champ, hav­ing beaten Dun­dalk in last year’s fi­nal. The In­di­ans, who had no re­turn­ing starters on of­fense, have won 11 straight games since fall­ing to then-No. 1 McDonogh in the sea­son opener.

Havre de Grace (10-2) faces a re­match of last year’s Class 1A ti­tle game against Fort Hill in the first of two Satur­day games. The un­de­feated Sen­tinels are three-time de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons and are aim­ing to take a sixth state cham­pi­onship home to Cum­ber­land. Havre de Grace has won three state ti­tles, but none since 1986.

De­fend­ing Class 4A cham­pion Wise is go­ing for its 28th straight vic­tory when the Pu­mas meet Quince Or­chard (12-1) on Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Wise ad­vanced by de­feat­ing Howard in the semi­fi­nals while Quince Or­chard beat An­napo­lis. Wise is aim­ing for a third state ti­tle since 2012. The Cougars are also look­ing for their third ti­tle, and their first since 2007.

In Class 2A, Walk­ersville (13-0) and Elk­ton (12-1) will square off in the tour­na­ment fi­nale Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. The Li­ons, who are in the fi­nal for the sec­ond straight year, de­feated Dun­bar in the semi­fi­nal. They won their only cham­pi­onship in 1987. The Elks won their only cham­pi­onship in 2000.

The state foot­ball cham­pi­onships were moved from M&T Bank Sta­dium to Navy this year af­ter the Ravens in­stalled a nat­u­ral grass field that likely could not with­stand the ef­fect of four high school games and be in good shape for the Ravens to play that Sun­day. Navy-Ma­rine Corps Me­mo­rial Sta­dium has ar­ti­fi­cial turf.

The con­tin­gency plan was made be­fore Navy earned the right to host the AAC cham­pi­onship with its win over South­ern Methodist on Satur­day and the cor­rect series of other out­comes within the con­fer­ence.

Andy Warner, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the MPSSAA, said Navy’s host­ing its con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship was al­ways a pos­si­bil­ity that state of­fi­cials had to con­sider. It won’t be the first time they have had to make ad­just­ments to hold a state tour­na­ment at a col­lege venue.

Ron Fritz, Se­nior Edi­tor/Sports, 410-332-6421, fax: 410-783-2518, e-mail: sports@balt­ Of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Frank Re­ich (Mary­land) and the Ea­gles will face the Pack­ers tonight

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