Despite win, Owls still likely to get 2nd seed in region
There are many factors involved in determining which games I chose to cover each week. For example, last week I had to decide between the Patapsco-Sparrows Point football game, or the Dundalk-Milford Mill game.
It was a big game for the Owls, taking a 7-1 record against an unbeaten Miller team that was the defending regional champion and the Class 3A state runner-up last season. I really wanted to see that game.
But ... Patapsco-Sparrows Point. A two-win team against a winless team, but an important local rivalry. And the Point’s Homecoming Game. And it was closer than Milford Mill (which is off Liberty Road), meaning I could get to the game easily after the conclusion of the Patapsco-Dundalk girls soccer regional playoff game (which I was not missing for any reason).
(How did I write the story about the Milford Mill game this week? I watched it on BCPS TV. Great cam- era work, play-by-play and color commentary needs improvement.)
When I told Dundalk coach Matt Banta I would not be covering the Milford Mill game in person, I told him: “Make me regret missing the game.”
Which turned out to be one heck of a motivation, huh? This means, should Dundalk reach the state championship game, I should stay home and watch it on TV.
And the Owls are now a legitimate contender to reach the Class 3A state championship game.
Milford Mill lost in the state finals last season on a touchdown by Linganore in the final seconds. They returned the bulk of that team and had been crushing their opponents.
Dundalk stopped the Millers’ offense cold, while running over and around the Milford defense. At Milford Mill. On the Millers Homecoming.
The Millers still lead the Class 3A North Region standings entering the final game of the regular season, meaning they would host their regional playoff games.
Milford Mill has a narrow lead over second-place Dundalk in regional playoff points (95-92). The Millers play a Class 4A team (worth eight points) in their last game, while Kenwood is a Class 3A school (worth seven points).
Edgewood, also 8-1, is in third place in the regional standings with 83.4 points, while Franklin (7-2) has 82.2 points. The Rams finish the season against winless Fallston, while the Indians host Parkville (3-6).
It is unlikely the regional standings will change after the end of the regular season, meaning Dundalk will host Edgewood in the first round of the playoffs, while Milford Mill will host Franklin.
But, since Edgewood is playing a winless Class 2A school, it’s entirely possibe Franklin would pass the rams and take third place in the region if both schools win this weekend.
That would sent Franklin to Dundalk in the first round, while Milford Mill hosts Edgwood.
(Franklin defeated Dundalk 37-14 during the regular season, and lost to Milford Mill in overtime 1913).
If Dundalk and Milford Mill both win this week, it will come down to which school picks up the most bonus points; meaning more teams Dundalk has beaten need to win their last games, than teams Milford Mill has beaten.
The problem for the Owls is that the two teams have played basically the same schedules. So, barring a Dulaney upset of Milford Mill, the Millers will likely retain the top seed in the region.
On the other hand... Dundalk has now won its last two games at Milford Mill (21-6 in 2015), while losing to the Millers at home in 2016 and 2017. So, you know ...