De­spite win, Owls still likely to get 2nd seed in re­gion

The Dundalk Eagle - - SPORT AND RECREATION - By Bill Gates

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 ...

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