Two teams look to end decades of angst. Another hopes to add to its championship legacy.
The final weekend of the 2022 high school football season has arrived as the state public tournament concludes with championship games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.
Arundel, Dunbar and Milford Mill will carry the area banner to the state capital. The undefeated and third-ranked Millers will play Kent Island in the Class 2A final Friday afternoon.
Friday evening, No. 10 Arundel will take a 15-minute bus ride from its Gambrills campus to Navy Stadium, where it faces Southern Maryland’s North Point in the 4A/3A title match.
No. 4 Dunbar looks to add to its trophy case Saturday afternoon when it takes on Southern Maryland’s Patuxent for the 2A/1A championship.
The last time three Baltimore area programs won a title was 2011 with Old Mill (4A), River Hill (3A) and Dunbar (1A).
Here’s a preview of each state title match.
No. 3 Milford Mill (13-0) vs. Kent Island (12-1)
What: Class 2A state football championship
When: Friday, 4 p.m.
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis
The Millers will try to end their 35-year championship drought. Milford Mill reached its second straight 2A final with a thrilling 40-33 victory over Worcester County’s Stephen Decatur in last Friday’s state semifinals.
Dashawn Purdie’s 7-yard touchdown run with 38 seconds left in regulation lifted the Millers, who trailed entering the fourth. Sean Williams rushed for 310 yards and four touchdowns.
Williams, a senior running back, has accounted for 2,108 yards and 37 touchdowns. Purdie, a junior transfer from Mount St. Joseph, has thrown for 2,621 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Daysen Shell (959 yards and 14 total TDs) and Corey Jones (678 yards, 6 TDs) has produced explosive plays for Milford Mill, which is averaging 43 points.
Jones and Emmanuel Gee (10.5 sacks) lead a Millers’ defense that has allowed 95 points. Kent Island claimed its 12th straight victory with a 14-7 victory over Frederick County’s Middletown in the other 2A semifinal match last Friday evening.
Kasey Heath rushed 134 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 4 minutes, 49 seconds left in regulation as the Buccaneers from Queen Anne’s County secured their first state final.
Milford Mill will play in its fourth state final. The Millers lost to Prince George’s County’s Douglass in last year’s 2A final. In 2017, Milford Mill lost to Frederick County’s Linganore in the 3A final.
The Millers won their only title (Class C) in 1987.
No. 10 Arundel (10-2) vs. North Point (10-3)
What: Class 4A/3A state championship
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Arundel looks to win its first state title since 1975. The Wildcats avenged last year’s state semifinal blowout loss to Dundalk with a 6-0 victory last Friday.
Ahmad Taylor’s third quarter touchdown run was the only points for Arundel, which got an end zone interception from junior Pat Connelly to secure its first state title game berth since 2016.
The Wildcats, who lost starting quarterback Gavin Kamachi to a broken collarbone two weeks ago, are relying heavily on its running game, featuring Taylor and TJ Mordecai.
Arundel’s defense, led by senior linebacker Camden Neiswander, has allowed one touchdown in the postseason. North Point continued its impressive postseason with a 17-0 victory at Frederick County’s Urbana.
The Eagles from Charles County limited Urbana to 116 yards, posting its fourth straight postseason shutout. North Point hasn’t allowed a point since the third quarter of a week nine loss to Southern Maryland Athletic Conference rival and 2A state final participant Patuxent.
In 2o18, North Point lost to Montgomery County’s Quince Orchard in the Class 4A state final. The following season, the Eagles opened with a 55-32 victory over Arundel.
The Wildcats’ last state final trip was in 2007 when it lost to Quince Orchard in the 4A final. The last Anne Arundel County team win a state championship was Old Mill in 2011
No. 4 Dunbar (12-0) vs. Patuxent (10-2)
What: Class 2A/1A state championship
When: Saturday, 12 p.m.
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis
The Poets seek a record 12th state championship. The Baltimore City program secured its 15th title game appearance with a 46-7 victory over Calvert County’s Calvert in a semifinal Saturday.
Senior quarterback Devin Roche rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns and Tristen Kenan finished with 121 yards and two scores. Dunbar finished with 365 yards Saturday.
The Poets, who’ve outscored opponents, 160-7 in the postseason, have dominated on the ground with Kenan, Roche, and juniors Antonio Lyde and Dashawn Parks. Patuxent advanced to its first state final since 2015 with a 43-21 decision over Harford Tech.
Daiquan Buck scored three touchdowns for the Panthers, and Evan Jones and Jedidiah Lancaster each added a rushing score. The Calvert County school has won six straight since a 28-14 loss to Calvert in week six.
Dunbar has won 25 straight decisions, including a 38-6 victory over South Carroll in last year’s 2A/1A state final. The Poets last won back-to-back titles when they claimed three straight 1A titles from 2010 to 2012.
Class 2A state championship at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium - No. 3 Milford Mill (13-0) vs. Kent Island (12-1), 4 p.m.
Class 4A/3A state championship at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium - No. 10 Arundel (10-2) vs. North Point (10-3), 7:30 p.m.
Class 2A/1A state championship at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium - No. 4 Dunbar (12-0) vs. Patuxent (11-2), 12 p.m.