Top-seeded Eagles ready to make deep playoff run
While a playoff berth has become an annual tradition for the Bohemia Manor football team, the Eagles are the top seed in the 1A East Region for the first time since 2010.
Bo Manor closed out its regular season by winning five of its final six games.
“Just staying the course, doing what we do best — trying to establish the run and play-action pass off that,” Eagles first-year coach Joe Graf said of the closing weeks. “The kids stayed together and they played through all the adversity that’s been thrown our way. They continue to want to learn and want to play.”
Bo Manor (7-3) hosts fourthseeded Kent County (5-5) at 7 p.m. tonight. The two teams did not meet in the regular season, but they faced a common opponent.
Both squads defeated Stephen Decatur. The Eagles won, 2013, in the first game of the year and Kent County won the same matchup, 39-20, on Oct. 7.
Graf feels the Trojans’ athletic quarterback poses a threat, but expressed confidence in his team’s ability to handle its own in the trenches.
“They’re a solid team. Their quarterback, who I think of as more of a running back, Marcquan Greene, is very good. He reminds me a lot of [Elkton running back] Ray Estep, just a little bigger,” he said. “They’ve got good team speed, but up front, they’re not any bigger than we are.”
Bo Manor closed the regular season with a 19-14 come-frombehind victory over Joppatowne. Graf substituted Johnny Knight from wide receiver to quarterback to lead the game-winning drive. Knight scored on a 1-yard run with 17 seconds to play to seal the win.
Knight began the season as the Eagles’ starter under center, but has since moved outside to capitalize on his play-making ability. Graf said he could play both positions Friday.
“We’re by committee,” Graf said of the quarterback position. “There’s definitely certain packages where [Knight] is in at quarterback, but our plan is that we want the ball in his hands in various different ways.”
Bo Manor is appearing in the state playoffs for a fifth-straight year.. Graf was the offensive coor- dinator for several of those trips. He also quarterbacked the 2002 Eagles team that captured the state championship.
“That is the goal every year. This team wants to play past the 10 weeks,” Graf said. “The players always have the chip on their shoulder that nobody believes in us, we’re too small to compete. It’s just an attitude that we want to prove people wrong. Bo Manor is a football school and people have to respect us in the area and in the state.”
Follow Sean Grogan on Twitter: @Sean_CecilWhig
Johnny Knight, left, Jiaire Caldwell, right, and the Bohemia Manor football team will open the 1A East Region playoffs as the top seed. It will host Kent County tonight in the region semifinals.