Bucs host Bulldogs in Week 9
Easton visits Wi-Hi in another exciting 2A tilt
Last year in Week 9, North Caroline High’s football team defeated visiting Kent Island by three touchdowns in a game many thought was a playoff preview, myself included.
Well, we were right. But everyone underestimated Kent Island’s ability to bounce back.
In Week 10, the Buccaneers welcomed cross-county nemesis Queen Anne’s to Andy Schipul Stadium, and meted out the most lopsided drubbing in the history of the rivalry, winning 48-0.
The Buccaneers didn’t stop there. The following week they went back to Ridgely and out-
lasted the unbeaten, top-seeded Bulldogs. Scoring on a lastminute touchdown pass, Kent Island won 33-29, in the opening playoff round and knock North Caroline out.
This year, a little bit has changed. The Bulldogs aren’t the offensive powerhouse they were last year — but their defense is downright stifling. The first-stringers have allowed one field goal and a single touchdown, in eight games. The backups have allowed just 34 points.
Teams are averaging less than a single touchdown (5.5 points) per game against North Caroline right now. WBOC-TV sports anchor Matt Pencek was right when he predicted last week that visiting James M. Bennett would be the first team to score double-digits on the Bulldogs (but still lose).
After giving up an eightminute touchdown drive to the Clippers, the Bulldogs made the rest look easy, blowing by Bennett with six straight touchdowns en route to a 40-14 blowout, improving to 8-0.
Bennett’s only two losses have been against Kent Island, and the Bulldogs, who meet this week. That game, at 7 p.m. Friday, is the Bayside Conference Game of the Week, in my humble opinion.
At the other end of Caroline County, things had been going swimmingly for Colonel Richardson. The first 42 minutes of Friday night’s game at Northampton, Va., ended with Colonel ahead 37-21 and looking poised to pick up their biggest win of the year.
Then the Smiths came to play. Carlton Smith, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound fullback, and Corey Smith Jr., a lightning-quick tailback, became a late-game 1-2 punch which the Colonels couldn’t stop. The Yellowjackets rallied to edge the Colonels, 45-43, in overtime.
Colonel had run the clock on Northampton in their 2017 meeting, winning 43-0 in a laugher.
Now, the Colonels’ postseason hopes, which they held firmly in their hands Friday night as the clock wound down, are no longer totally in their control. Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference teams Bohemia Manor and Perryville both could outpace the Colonels and make the playoffs above them if things pan out just right.
However, those two UCBAC squads face one another in Week 10, and the loser might be knocked out of postseason contention. Plus, the Colonels host Washington this weekend for homecoming, and the Jaguars have the most losses of any Bayside team since 2003.
Colonel kicker Remy Mangum, a Division-i prospect in baseball, apparently set a school record last week in the loss, his 40-yard field goal in the first quarter breaking the record he set himself earlier in the season, when he booted a 37-yarder against Wicomico in a loss at home. So, not all is lost yet for the Colonels.
“Neil (Lambert) has been here forever,” said Dan Mangum, Remy’s dad and the Colonel head coach for five years now, “and he thinks that 40 is the record. Remy hit two field goals in that game, but that’s not a record, though he might have tied that, too. We don’t exactly kick a lot of field goals here.”
With Washington at around 30 turnovers over the last five games, it probably won’t take much scoring to beat the Jags.
Parkside visits Queen Anne’s County in a game with playoff implications; the Rams are hoping to either stay at their current fourth spot in the Class 2A East playoff picture, while the Lions, who’ll miss the playoffs this year for just the second time, I think, since 2003, are hoping to play spoiler.
Wi-Hi hosts Easton in a battle of decent teams, and the Indians still technically have a chance of making the postseason, but will need a ton of help.
Easton could have the pleasure of preventing three teams from either hosting a home playoff game (at C-SD Week 10), or possibly making the postseason at all (Kent Island last week, and Wi-Hi this week), but will probably not make it there itself, short of a miracle.
If neither Kent Island nor Queen Anne’s makes the playoffs this year, it will be the first time since 2003 that’s happened. That was also the last season the Lions didn’t have a winning season; they went 2-8 that year. if they don’t win out this year, it’ll happen again.
Get out and see a game this week; you’re running out of chances.
Friday’s Games Game of the Week North Caroline (8-0) at Kent Island (4-4)
This could be a repeat of 2017, and if it is, there will be no Week 11 rematch for the Bucs to avenge themselves this time. — Bulldogs, 34-14.
James M. Bennett (6-2) at Stephen Decatur (2-6)
The last time, I think, Bennett went 8-2, they made the 2A East playoffs and lost in the first round to Decatur, way back in 2003. They’re both 3A now, and a lot of other stuff has changed, too. — Clippers, 35-6.
Cambridge-SD (5-3) at Snow Hill (0-8)
Like in the game just before this one, a lot has changed in what was the best 1A rivalry in the Bayside for a long time. — Vikings, 42-13.
Easton (4-4) at Wicomico (5-3)
The Warriors have many ways to win this game, but also a few ways not to do so. Can Wi-Hi prevail at home against a passing attack that’s unmatched in the conference? — Indians, 27-26.
Parkside (6-2) at Queen Anne’s (4-4)
The last time Queen Anne’s had a non-winning season (2003), the Rams went 0-10 and scored just 46 points all year. Again, the times have changed. — Rams, 21-19.
Saturday’s Games Kent County (2-6) at Concordia Prep (7-2)
I know very little about Concordia, except its been winning a lot this year. — Saints, 35-13.
Washington (1-7) at Colonel (4-4)
This win has to happen for the Colonels or they will probably spend Week 11 thinking about tryouts for basketball, indoor track and wrestling instead of the football playoffs. — Colonels, 45-6.
Week 8: 5-2.
Season: 49-8 (.860). Career: 967-197 (.831).
FROM THE BLEACHERS DAVID INSLEY