definitively if Oscar’s kick is the longest in conference history.
It broke his previous record of 48 yards, and the longest one I can remember before that was a 47-yarder by Ryan Brewington of Snow Hill, which came in 2004, and was a game-winner, I think against Queen Anne’s in Week 1 of that year. I want to say the final score was 10-7, Eagles; while that’s not entirely certain (UPDATE: It is; I just found the old article online), I do recall quite clearly that Queen Anne’s avenged that loss 11 weeks later by knocking the Eagles out of the playoffs, winning the Class 1A East Region title at their expense.
That was the last year Queen Anne’s was a Class 1A school; it moved up the next year and hasn’t gone back down since. It was also the first year in a string of 13 winning seasons coach Donny Graef and crew have put together since, including three more regional titles,
and a state final appearance in 2009.
Bennett, on the other hand, has seen some ups and downs. Making the playoffs several times, it’s always been a one-anddone affair, including a 70-0 lambasting at River hill eight years ago.
But the pendulum seems to have swung to the good side for now. Following a 1-9 campaign in 2012, coach Glenn Gibson’s crew improved, making the playoffs in 2015; the team went 5-5 last year, but has already matched that season win total six weeks into 2017.
Bennett and Queen Anne’s — the latter in what some might call a building year — square off at 7 p.m. Friday in Centreville in the Bayside Football Game of the Week.
Other games jump out of the schedule as entertaining as well, including one involving the Lions county rivals: Kent Island.
The Buccaneers, 6-0 this season and running strong, visit Oakdale, a Frederick County team that’s in the top 20 of the state poll, in a game with huge implications.
The 2A West, to which Oakdale belongs, is
absolutely loaded this year. Oakdale, the 3A state runner-up last year, got reassigned to the smaller Class 2A bracket this year, as did Damascus, the team that beat it for the 3A title last December in Annapolis.
Also in the 2A West, we find Walkersville, which made the 2A final in 2015 at North Caroline’s expanse, and then won it all last year, along with Middletown, which was the 2011 state champ... and the 2012 state champ... and the 2013 state champ.
A friend of mine said the other day that “it’s possible the best four 2A teams in the state are in the West region alone.” And even if you put unbeaten and loaded North Caroline in that mix, it’s still no worse than four of the top five.
Kent Island has a point to prove, but despite the 90-minute drive and road game against a stateranked opponent, it’s possible the Buccaneer faithful could come home happy.
At the other end of the state, Easton visits Stephen Decatur in a big game for both. While neither has an easy path to the postseason this year (Decatur’s is
much more realistic, playing in a region with fewer teams and only one win off the pace for a playoff seed), this game will serve to prove if the Seahawks are rebuilt, or if Easton can win despite suffering several depth-chart-wrecking injuries in Week 2.
Unbeaten North Caroline, at home Friday, faces a 1-5 Kent County team, while Cambridge-South Dorchester and Colonel Richardson, both sitting at 3-3 but only the former in the playoffs if the season ended today), have mustwin games against Wicomico, and Nandua, Va., respectively.
Parkside, reeling from a game it had won with 90 seconds left but which slipped through its fingers Friday, now must win to stay viable for a playoff spot, and hope for help in the form of losses by the teams above it. The Rams host winless Snow Hill, mired in a 28-game losing skid, Thursday night, a day ahead of everyone else.
Washington High, with a slim but still mathematical shot at its first playoff berth in 14 years, visits Arcadia, Va., half an hour or so from home, and needs to improve upon its
current mark of 1-5.
There are games in Dorchester, Frederick, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, and Worcester Counties this week involving Bayside teams, and another in Accomack County, Va.; no matter where you are on Delmar va or even near Baltimore, you’re not more than a half-hour drive from one.
Go check one out; I hope to see you there.
— Rams, 42-6. Friday’s Games Game of the Week J. M. Bennett (5-1) at Queen Anne’s (4-2) Home field doesn’t usually mean much in high school, despite the talk, because so many games turn into mismatches. This one is a rare exception
— Lions, 21-20. Kent Island (6-0) at Oakdale (6-0) The Bucs allow 8.17 points per game defensively, Oakdale just 11 1/2. This might be a game which sees just one scoring play all night.
— Bears, 21-14. Wicomico (2-4) at Cambridge-SD (3-3) The longest steady rivalr y in the Bayside Conference (C-SD, as Cambridge Seminary, played Easton as far back as 1907, but this one has been played more) should see a fun renewal. (Radio: WAAI 100.9 FM; pregame 6:15 p.m.) — Vikings, 28-24. Kent County (1-5) at N. Caroline (6-0) The Rowdies at the Ridge will go home happy. — Bulldogs, 49-7. Easton (2-4) at Decatur (3-3) Another game with amazing potential as a crowd-pleaser. (Radio: 94.3 WINX-FM, pregame 5;45 p.m.) — Warriors, 27.26. Nandua, Va. (3-4) at Col. Richardson (3-3) Colonel hasn’t been 4-3 on the field after seven games since 2006 (they had to forfeit three of those wins due to an ineligible player). Counting wins they kept, it’s been since 2001. — Colonels, 34-22. Washington (1-5) at Arcadia, Va. (3-4) The Jaguars could finish as strong as 4-6 if they continue to battle. This would put them halfway there. — Jaguars, 35-19. Last Week: 7-0. Season: 36-5 (.878). Career: 888-184 (.828). Follow me on Twitter: @David_stardem.‹