Week 10 on the gridiron is here
Football teams look to stay alive, lock up seeds for playoffs
Several football teams in the Southern Mary- land Athletic Conference know their fate heading into the final week of the regular season.
Some teams have either clinched a playoff spot or are in the mix for a post- season berth.
Tonight a lot is at stake as teams clash with hopes of securing one of the top four regular season point averages, based on win points and bonus points (wins earned by defeat- ed opponents) divided by games played, in their respective regions. Only the top four seeds in each region clinch playoff berths.
It all comes down to Week 10.
The four teams are already set in the Class 2A South Region and will come to down to seed- ing after tonight’s action concludes.
The marquee matchup in Week 10 will be for 2A South implications as the Lackey Chargers (8-1, 5-0 Chesapeake) is scheduled to host the Calvert Cavaliers (8-1, 4-1) in a SMAC Chesapeake Division game at 7 p.m.
A win for Lackey over Calvert would give it the top seed and with it home field throughout its stay in the regional playoffs. The Cavaliers could then drop to the No. 4 spot, while Patuxent and Gwynn Park of Prince George’s County — if the teams were to win their Week 10 matchups — the second and third seeds, respectively.
If Calvert were to win, it would open the door for
Patuxent (8-1) to take the top seed in the region if it were to finish the regular season with a win over Westlake.
Entering the final week the race for the top spot in the 2A South is tight as Patuxent leads with 81 points, one point ahead of Lackey. Calvert is in third with 79 points and Gwynn Park sits in the final spot with 74.40 points.
“We control our own destiny. If we win, we out- right win the division title and get the top seed with a home playoff game,” said Lackey head coach John Lush, whose team is on a seven-game win streak. “If we lose, we have to go on the road, so it is a big game for us. Calvert is very talented and well coached. Our strengths match up with their strengths.”
Calvert suffered a 27-21 setback to Lackey in the final week of the regular season in 2015, but tonight will be looking for revenge in a must-win situation to have a home playoff game.
A win for the Cavaliers also means that Calvert, Lackey and Patuxent would share the Chesa- peake Division crown.
“This is a very important game. We have the opportunity to play at home. It is a lot easier when you play in your backyard,” said Calvert head coach Rick Sneade, whose team has won three straight. “Lackey is a good team and it is going to be very physical on both sides.”
With both teams featuring similar run-heavy of- fenses, Lackey will be led by the area’s second-lead- ing rusher in Malik Burns, who has rushed for 1,956 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. The Chargers’ defense has been just as strong, having allowed 80 points through nine weeks.
“Our five horses up front has done a great job of creating lanes for Malik to keep the chains moving,” Lush said. “It has been hard for offenses to move the ball on us. Our defense is very strong.”
Calvert, which is aver- aging almost 26 points a game, has a balanced rushing attack that is led by senior quarterback Jack Lanham and senior running backs Levi Brick- ner and Shamar Gray. Gray leads the backs with 938 yards along with nine touchdowns, while Lan- ham has rushed for over 500 yards and 11 touchdowns. Brickner has scored six touchdowns on the season.
The Cavaliers defense has also been stout with 26 takeaways on the season.
Patuxent will host Westlake (5-4) in another SMAC Chesapeake Division matchup that is scheduled for 7 p.m. It is averaging 33 points per game, while its defense has allowed just 59 points all season and surrendered double digits in just one game this season.
Junior quarterback Reese Crounse has thrown for over 1,600 yards this season and will lead a lethal air attack.
North Point (8-1, 5-0 Potomac), which has al- ready clinched its post- season berth in the 4A East, will travel to Northern tonight in a SMAC Potomac Division game. Win or lose, the Eagles will head to the playoffs in the region’s third spot where they would travel to meet the loser of this week’s Old Mill-Annapolis matchup.
The Eagles, who cur- rently boast a six-game win streak, will be led by junior dual threat quar- terback Jemichael Jones, who has passed for 1,888 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also leads the team in rushing with 884 yards and 12 touchdowns.
McDonough (2-7) is still alive in the 1A North Region and must win to clinch the fourth and fi- nal playoff spot as it hosts La Plata (2-7) at 7 p.m. A loss for the Rams would eliminate them from contention.
In St. Mary’s County, Chopticon (7-2) plays at Great Mills (3-6) at 6 tonight with playoff implica- tions for both teams. The winner essentially will need a miracle from other results around the state to climb into the top four in their respective regions.
The Braves sit in sixth spot in the 4A East standings with 62 points, while Anne Arundel’s Broadneck and Arundel hold down the fourth and five spots with 69 and 64 points, respectively.
The Hornets are in sixth in the 3A South standings with 27 points, with Montgomery County’s Wheaton and Rockville in fourth and fifth with 35 and 33 points, respectively.