The play­offs have ar­rived

Dorchester Star - - SPORTS - DAVID INSLEY

The high school foot­ball post­sea­son is fi­nally upon us.

This year, the South Bay­side has two par­tic­i­pants, Park­side and James M. Ben­nett, while there are three

from the North: Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester, Colonel Richard­son, and North Caro­line.

As al­ways, there’s his­tory made. This year marks the first time both Caro­line County teams made it to the post­sea­son in con­sec­u­tive sea­sons in foot­ball. I know this be­cause Colonel had never made the post­sea­son in con­sec­u­tive years un­til now. This year, the Colonels are in the Class 1A East play­offs for the third time in school his­tory, again as the fourth seed.

The Colonels, shut out in their first-ever post­sea­son ap­pear­ance back in 2014, scored once last year in a 56-6 loss to even­tual re­gional champ Havre de Grace. The Colonels who may dress only 15 play­ers (or fewer, per­haps!), make that twohour bus ride again this Novem­ber. At least it won’t be frigid like it was in 2017, though the fore­cast right now lists rain as a pos­si­bil­ity.

C-SD, earn­ing the No. 2 seed, will play at home against Per­ryville in a game which has the po­ten­tial of be­com­ing a real ri­valry. The Pan­thers, at home in Ce­cil County for both games, beat the Vik­ings for the re­gional ti­tle in 2011 and 2012.

C-SD re­turned the fa­vor the fol­low­ing year with a 42-0 blowout win in Cam­bridge. The home team is thus un­beaten in re­cent his­tory be­tween the two; will that hold true again this year?

In the other Class 2A East play­off, de­fend­ing re­gional champ Har­ford Tech hosts Elk­ton. This should be a very good game, and though I don’t know par­tic­u­larly much about Up­per Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Ath­letic Con­fer­ence teams, I think Elk­ton might have the hot hand in this one.

Hav­ing scored 35 or more points in each of the last five games — all wins — and post­ing shutouts in three of them, the Golden Elks seem to be fir­ing on all cylin­ders. We shall see. I thought Kent Is­land had mo­men­tum when they went to Bel Air last year in Week 12, but the Buc­ca­neers came away empty in a hard-fought 22-21 win by the Co­bras.

In Class 3A, Ben­nett is the top seed again this year (I guessed wrong on that), and Long Reach High, the No. 4 in the 3A East, will make the 2 1/2-hour drive from Columbia to Sal­is­bury for Fri­day’s con­test, which will take place at Wi­comico County Sta­dium rather than the Ship­yard (which doesn’t have lights yet).

The sec­ond sea­son is upon us; at most, four Bay­side teams will ad­vance to Week 12. My guess is it’ll be two, pos­si­bly three.

Fri­day’s Games

Game of the Week

Class 2A East

Re­gion Semi­fi­nal

(4) Park­side (8-2) at

(1) N. Caro­line (10-0)

I don’t see a shutout here, but I’ve been known to get stuff wrong. I do go with the un­beaten team, but the Rams can win this if they play their grind-you-down de­fense they’re ca­pa­ble of.

— Bull­dogs, 28-14.

Class 2A East

Re­gion Semi­fi­nal

(3) Elk­ton (8-2) at

(2) Har­ford Tech (9-1)

And the team mak­ing the re­gional fi­nal from this game will be the...

— Golden Elks, 21-20.

Class 1A East

Re­gion Semi­fi­nal

(4) Co. Richard­son (6-4) at (1) Havre de Grace (8-2)

It won’t be a 50-point blowout like last sea­son, but Havre de Grace has three things the Colonels lack: depth, home turf (lit­er­ally; they play on an ar­ti­fi­cial sur­face), and all day to hang out on the field and get ac­cli­mated.

— War­riors, 42-7.

Class 1A East

Re­gion Semi­fi­nal

(3) Per­ryville (6-4) at (2) Cam­bridge-SD (7-3)

If C-SD wins, I might get the chance to an­noy Vik­ing ju­nior wide re­ceiver Lo­gan Mid­dle­ton’s grand­fa­ther, David Can­non, for at least an­other week be­fore we go in­doors for hoops sea­son.

— Vik­ings, 26-20.

Class 3A East

Re­gion Semi­fi­nal

(4) Long Reach (7-3) at

(2) J. M. Ben­nett (8-2)

I can’t re­call the last time Ben­nett won a play­off game; maybe this is the year.

— Clip­pers, 28-24.

Class 3A East

Re­gion Semi­fi­nal

(3) North­east-AA (7-3) at (2) Ch­e­sa­peake-AA (8-2) North­east just beat Ch­e­sa­peake last week in Ch­e­sa­peake’s sta­dium, but this is still a tough call. I go with the...

— Cougars, 27-24.

Week 10: 8-2.

Sea­son: 64-10 (.865).

Ca­reer: 982-199 (.831).

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