MARCH­ING OR­DERS

Pan­thers host Huskies as play­offs near

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com By JOR­DAN SCHATZ jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

— Once again, the Per­ryville foot­ball team is in po­si­tion to make the play­offs.

This time, the Pan­thers in­tend to cash in. Cur­rently ranked fourth in the lat­est MPSSAA 1A East Re­gion foot­ball point stand­ings with four games to go, Per­ryville (3-3 over­all, 1-1 Susque­hanna) must cap­i­tal­ize down the stretch to nab one of the four play­off spots and avoid miss­ing out on the post­sea­son for a sec­ond­straight year. That jour­ney be­gins tonight with a home show­down against win­less

Pat­ter­son Mill (0-5, 0-3).

“We’re re­ally into a sit­u­a­tion now where kids have to un­der­stand that ev­ery game counts. We need to start stack­ing wins,” Pan­thers head coach Chris John­son said. “We have to make sure we take care of our busi­ness.”

Per­ryville will take the field one week af­ter nar­rowly de­feat­ing one-win Jop­pa­towne,

7-0. A lone touch­down re­cep­tion in the first half by Chris­tian Pen­row marked the only score be­tween the two pro­grams. A win tonight will de­liver the Pan­thers back-to­back vic­to­ries for the first time all sea­son.

“I think Jop­pa­towne is a good mo­ti­va­tor. We did not play very well, we did not ex­e­cute very well, es­pe­cially on of­fense, so I think that was kind of a wakeup call,” John­son pointed out. “You can’t just show up. You have to pre­pare prop­erly and do the lit­tle things right in or­der to be at your best ev­ery Fri­day night.”

The Huskies are com­ing off a 35-14 loss to Bo­hemia Manor.

“They throw the ball a lot, so if we’re not cov­er­ing the way we’re ca­pa­ble of cov­er­ing, there’s op­por­tu­ni­ties for Pat­ter­son Mill to make big plays,” John­son said. “They have a nice run­ning back who is very quick and makes peo­ple miss, so our de­fense is go­ing to have its hands full.

“De­fen­sively, they are very ag­gres­sive.

PER­RYVILLE

— In less than two weeks, Will Smethurst will jam his faded Mary­land Terrapins hat on his head of curly hair and take to the fair­ways at the state uni­ver­sity’s cham­pi­onship golf course.

The Bo­hemia Manor se­nior fin­ished with an 82 in his re­turn to the par-72 Moun­tain Branch Golf Course on Wed­nes­day, fin­ish­ing one stroke ahead of the cut and qual­i­fy­ing for the 2A-1A Mary­land State Tour­na­ment tak­ing place Oct. 23-24 at UMD in Col­lege Park.

“It’s my first time qual­i­fy­ing. Last year, I missed it by three strokes. This year, to come around and have the round I did is just awe­some,” Smethurst said. “Go­ing up there, it’s just life chang­ing. It’s awe­some.”

Golfers re­turned to Joppa Wed­nes­day to con­tinue a round that be­gan Sept. 25 but was sus­pended for heavy rain. Smethurst, the lone Ce­cil County ath­lete to make the cut, used a clutch mo­ment with two holes re­main­ing to help clinch his state tour­na­ment berth.

“On 16, I be­lieve, I sank a putt from 25 feet for par. That’s the one par I needed to qual­ify and I could bo­gey out if I needed to. That re­ally was the hole,” said Smethurst, who is the first Bo Manor golfer to qual­ify for Col­lege Park since now­grad­u­ated Hunter Tol­lenger went three straight times from 2014-16.

“A 42 [on the back nine] wasn’t

JOPPA

I think one of their chal­lenges is their over­all team speed. We have to kind of do our best to take ad­van­tage of that and get our ath­letes in space to make plays.”

Fol­low­ing its con­test against Pat­ter­son Mill, Per­ryville will travel to play Har­ford Tech, host North East and travel to play the ri­val Ea­gles—an­other re­gion op­po­nent who will en­ter the sea­son fi­nale likely play­ing for their play­off lives.

Last year, Bo Manor made the post­sea­son and elim­i­nated the Pan­thers by win­ning the Week 10 matchup be­tween the two schools.

“First off, we need to fin­ish. I think this year’s team is a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent. They have a dif­fer­ent mind­set. I think it’s go­ing to come down to how much do they want it. How much does it mat­ter to them to be in the play­offs,” John­son said. “A cou­ple of our games [this sea­son] could have gone what I was hop­ing for, but with the break and all that, I’m not too up­set about it.”

Smethurst birdied twice on the front nine, in­clud­ing find­ing the pin in two strokes on the par-3 ninth hole. He then fought through an in­con­sis­tent back nine, but closed out with three pars on his fi­nal four holes, in­clud­ing the long putt on the 16th hole, to fin­ish with a plus10 on a chal­leng­ing course.

“It was tough. Wait­ing a whole year and know­ing I should have made it last year [af­ter] shoot­ing a 40 on the front and blow­ing up on the back, it re­ally just killed me,” Smethurst said. “At least I made it this year.”

Per­ryville’s Matt O’Neill, the county’s only state qual­i­fier from a year ago, missed a re­turn trip to states by three strokes. The se­nior fin­ished with an 85 to record the sec­ond-best score of lo­cal par­tic­i­pants.

The reign­ing All-County Golfer of the Year had four dou­ble bo­geys on the back nine and four bo­geys in the fi­nal five holes of the front nine, but recorded an ea­gle and a birdie on holes No. 2 and 3, re­spec­tively, to high­light an up and down per­for­mance.

“You just had to think about it like two rounds of golf. You come in, you have some mo­men­tum go­ing, you know what you’re do­ing, and then to stop that and come in on a com­pletely new day, is pretty tough. You can’t blame it on the break, though, You’ve got to be able to adapt to ev­ery­thing,” the other way. The Largo and Ris­ing Sun games re­ally stand out to me as games we should have had. We can’t do any­thing about it now, but the good thing is we’re still the four seed, we still con­trol our own destiny.

“It’s re­ally just a bunch of one-game sea­sons,” he added. “Ev­ery week is a play­off week for us. That’s the way we have to ap­proach it, with that type of en­ergy. If we don’t, we may be on the out­side look­ing in again.” said O’Neill, who played four-and-a-half holes Wed­nes­day to com­plete his round. “It was a chal­lenge. I came up a lit­tle short to­day, un­for­tu­nately.”

O’Neill paced a Per­ryville squad that fin­ished sixth in the 2A-1A team stand­ings with 436 points. North East took fifth (417), while Har­ford Tech (416), North Har­ford (377) and Fall­ston (343) fin­ished fourth

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY SCOTT SERIO

Per­ryville quar­ter­back Tyler Na­suta scram­bles down field while team­mate Chris­tian Pen­row lays the block dur­ing a game ear­lier this sea­son. The Pan­thers will host Pat­ter­son Mill tonight in their pur­suit of a post­sea­son berth.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JOR­DAN SCHATZ

Bo­hemia Manor se­nior Will Smethurst, right, watches as of­fi­cial scores are made pub­lic fol­low­ing the con­clu­sion of the District VII Golf Tour­na­ment Wed­nes­day at Moun­tain Branch Golf Course in Joppa. With a 10-over par 82, Smethurst is the only Ce­cil County golfer who qual­i­fied for this month’s state meet.

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