THE WEEK­END BLITZ

Perryville at Bo Manor, 7 tonight

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com

— Dif­fer­ent sea­son, same sce­nario for the Bohemia Manor and Perryville foot­ball teams.

For a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive au­tumn, the two archri­vals will face off in their reg­u­lar sea­son fi­nale hop­ing to keep their sea­sons alive. Both teams are vy­ing for berths in the 1A East Re­gion playof fs, which be­gin next week.

“The last two years, with the new sched­ule mak­ing us play Week 10, I re­mem­ber telling [Bo Manor ath­letic di­rec­tor] Bruce [Kline], ‘Holy crap. It’s go­ing to be one team or the other prob­a­bly Ev­ery year, who­ever wins that game is go­ing to get in,’” Bo Manor head coach Joe Graf said. “It’s good for foot­ball and the high schools, and it’s al­ways nice to have some­thing to play for

Week 10. Ev­ery­body would love to wrap up a play­off spot in Week 7, but it’s nice to have some­thing to play for and it’s good for the kids.”

The Ea­gles (4-4), who can only earn a spot as the third seed, must win to earn the pro­gram’s sev­enth straight post­sea­son berth. Perryville (5-4), which will re­main as the third seed with a win, can still make the play­offs with a loss — as the fourth seed — but would need a loss by cur­rent fourth seed Colonel Richard­son (5-4), which plays un­de­feated North Caro­line tonight.

A fourth seed would also mean a re­match with top-seeded Havre de Grace (7-2), which de­feated Perryville 45-14 on Sept. 13. Mean­while, Cam­bridge-SD (6-3) is slated to be the No. 2 seed

CH­E­SA­PEAKE CITY

even with a loss to Eas­ton tonight, and will host the win­ner of tonight’s game at Bohemia Manor High.

“It’s ab­so­lutely a play­off game on Fri­day,” Perr yville head coach Chris John­son said. “The one thing that we need to do, and I’m chal­leng­ing my play­ers, is that we’re 4-1 at home and 1-3 on the road. They need to un­der­stand that a foot­ball field is a foot­ball field and we need the same level of fo­cus no mat­ter where we go. If we do get into the play­offs, we’re go­ing to most likely be on the road any­way, so we need to learn how to win on the road, plain and sim­ple.”

In this same game last year, the Ea­gles de­feated the Pan­thers, 280, send­ing the Ch­e­sa­peake City squad to the play­offs and knock­ing Perryville out. The Ea­gles went on to earn their first re­gion cham­pi­onship ap­pear­ance since 2010, even­tu­ally fall­ing to Havre de Grace.

“The team has been very fo­cused. We knew last week that it’s ba­si­cally win and in for us. We’ve had a great last cou­ple of prac­tices lead­ing up. The kids know what’s in store, and they know what they want year in and year out is to get in and play a Week 11,” Graf said. “I think it’s go­ing to be a tra­di­tional Bo Manor, Perryville game. It’s go­ing to be hard hit­ting, well-coached foot­ball and the kids leav­ing ev­ery­thing out on the line. Talk­ing to Chris and our­selves, both teams would rather be in the three seed mov­ing for­ward and that’s what we’re play­ing for.

“We’re play­ing for a Week 11 that Perryville didn’t get to last year.”

Bo Manor en­ters tonight fresh, hav­ing not played in two weeks af­ter its Week 9 op­po­nent can­celed its sea­son prior to the start of the reg­u­lar sea­son. The Pan­thers will take the field just seven days af­ter de­feat­ing Ce­cil County op­po­nent North East, 42-7, in a must-win con­test — the pro­gram’s big­gest win this sea­son.

The foun­da­tion has now been laid for a smash-mouth Week 10 show­down that will pit the team with two weeks to pre­pare against the team with mo­men­tum fol­low­ing an im­pres­sive vic­tory.

“There is a chance that we can both make it in but it’s go­ing to be close,” John­son said. “What’s go­ing to be in­ter­est­ing is how much of an ad­van­tage is it for them to have that week off, as far as get­ting rest and hav­ing two weeks to pre­pare for us go­ing in. They’re al­ways pre­pared any­way, but get­ting that ex­tra week, they’ve al­ready got a head start on us.”

With last Fri­day off, mem­bers of the Bo Manor foot­ball team made the trip to Perryville to see the Pan­thers top North East.

“My as­sis­tants and some of my play­ers got to go to see it live. Watch­ing film is one thing, see­ing it live and see­ing the dif­fer­ent speeds and plays that they do in per­son al­lows you to gain a lit­tle ex­tra knowl­edge of what they’re try­ing to do in a game, rather than just watch­ing it on a com­puter,” Graf said. “It was a big win for them. Both us and them lost to North East last year, so it’s al­ways nice to get that win back. But mov­ing for­ward, I would have rather played last week. It’s odd, it’s some­thing that you don’t get used to in a high school sched­ule is a bye week.

We kind of found our iden­tity the last cou­ple of games and hope­fully we can carry that mo­men­tum into this week.”

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO BY SEAN GRO­GAN

Bohemia Manor and Perryville will clash tonight with play­off berths on the line.

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