No. 4 Overlea (7-3, 6.66) at No. 1 Reginald F. Lewis (10-0, 9.92), Nov. 11, 1 p.m., Under Armour Field, Dunbar
Interesting Baltimore County versus Baltimore City match-up Saturday afternoon at Dunbar. Overlea Falcons are representing the County with a 7-3 overall record. Reginald F Lewis defended their 2016 Baltimore City Division II title by running the table with another perfect regular season.
Overlea is averaging over 24 points per game on offense. Defensively, the Falcons posted shutouts against Sparrows Point and Eastern Tech. Seniors Keivon Bowman and Shaquin Meredith are key players on the defensive line. Their athletic ability and size can frustrate opposing running backs and pressure quarterbacks. Offensively, Donta “Biggie” White may receive the bulk of the carries. The 6-2 220 pound junior can punish defenders with his physical running style. In addition, Quarterback Jalen McMillan is dual threat with his arm and legs. On the other hand, the Falcons have two questionable losses on their records. Overlea fell to Bel Air and New Town during the regular season, both teams went 5-5 the year.
Reginald F Lewis averages over 45 points a game this season. The defense, led by Kavon Kingsborough, recorded 6 shutouts and kept opponents under 13 points all year. Seniors Malik Green and Andre Darby Jr will share the carries in the backfield. Both Backs are equipped with speed and shiftiness that can be a problem for defenders. Quarterback Jamal Douglass is also a dual threat with the ability to make plays with his arm and legs. Lewis probably have one of the biggest receiving cores out of the public schools. 6-2 Donyai Dixon and 6-1 Daquan Benjamin size and athletic ability poses challenge for most high school secondaries.
So who’s going to win? Hearing the chatter among the followers of high school football, Lewis’ strength of schedule is one of the weakest in the area. But on the other hand the Falcons punished every opponent on their schedule with the exception of New Town (8-6). Overlea also played a close game with New Town but lost 25-24 at home. This game is a coin toss but we’re picking Lewis to pull out a close win on Saturday.
No. 3 Chesapeake-B (8-2, 7.20) at No. 2 Dunbar (8-1, 9.58), Nov. 10, 6 p.m., Under Armour Field
First we must congratulate Chesapeake Head Coach Daryl Hunter for turning around the Bayhawks program in two years. Chesapeake-Baltimore is making their first appearance in the Maryland State Football Tournament since 2011. The Bayhawks offense averages roughly 20 points per game, while holding opponents to an overall average of 12 points per game during the regular season. The Jayhawks will need a big performance from their standout running back Shina Aguda. The senior tailback is more than capable of putting the Bayhawks on his back posting 308 yards and 3 Touchdowns in a single game.
Dunbar Poets are this year’s Baltimore City Division I Champions. They’re also back in the 1A Maryland State Tournament where they won back to back state championships under Head Coach Lawrence Smith in 2011 and 2012. The Poets are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. Senior Jared Lewis is one of the top quarterbacks in the state. Running Back Alfonzo Graham is one of the best slot backs in the state. In addition, Fullback Deon Crews-Harris is a man-child running the ball. Defensively, Dunbar’s fundamentally sound and deep enough to keep a fresh rotation on the line.
Who’s going to win? We didn’t have an opportunity to see Chesapeake in person. But fortunately through modern technology we’re able to get a glimpse of the Bayhawks via Hudl. Reviewing their schedule, we didn’t see any signature wins. Dunbar on the other hand defeated two playoff teams including 2016 Baltimore City Champions Mervo. In summary, the Bayhawks have an uphill battle to defeat a talented Poets team on their home field. We’re picking Dunbar to advance in the 1A North Region.
REGIONAL FINALS NOV. 17-18
STATE SEMIFINALS NOV. 24-25
STATE FINAL DEC. 2, 3:30PM at Navy