State Semi Finals: Gaithersburg (4A) & Damascus (3A) : #MOCOFB
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State Semi Finals: Gaithersburg (4A) & Damascus (3A)

by MoCoFootball Staff on 11/25/10

Mike Cornejo for MoCoFootball.com

 
The successful relationship between quarterback and coach has been demonstrated by Montgomery County's top two teams. Coach Kreg Kephart speaks highly of Zack Fetters similar to how Coach Eric Wallich raves about Connor Frazier; their leadership on the field and their demeanor off of it.
Both teams escaped the brutal region of their respective divisions and are one win away from the ultimate destination of their high school football careers, Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium; the site of the State Finals.
 
4A STATE SEMI FINALS - FRIDAY 7:00 PM at JOHN H. HARVILL STADIUM
GAITHERSBURG TROJANS vs URBANA HAWKS

WEEK 13: It may have been awhile now since the Trojans have been this deep into the playoffs but this isn't anything new to Coach Kephart. Kephart has been to the big show in his first year as the head man 11 years ago and as an assistant before Urbana High even existed. The Trojan alum is determined to take his alma mater to the big show and he has since showed that they are capable of doing so. Friday night they face their first out-of-county opponent in the Urbana Hawks of Frederick County. The Hawks are no joke. The Piedmont Conference champs are a tough, highly touted, and highly ranked team from the county believed to produce football-ready players. They are huge, they are disciplined, and they have been playing football since the day they could carry a football. The undefeated Hawks have shut out 8 of their 11 opponents, allowing 35 points all year. Scoring wise, they reach the endzone just about about five times a game.
Their opponents though are a combined 52-62. Only three of their nine regular season opponents have winning records.
Compare that to the Trojans whose opponents are a combined 66-57. It was the 4th toughest record among teams with a winning record in MoCo. The Trojans were able to avenge their one defeat last week to Sherwood by a score of 21-20.

Gaithersburg At A Glance Urbana
11 Wins 11
1 Loses 0
351 (29.25) PF (avg) 398 (36.18)
148 (12.33) PA (avg) 35 (3.18)
3 30+ games 9
2 shutouts 8
203 Net 363
.536 opponent win % .456
(3) 1986, 1992, 2000 State Titles (4) 1998, '99, 2000, '01

Key matchups: Zack Fetters (1977 pass yards, 28 TDs) and the wide receiving tandem of Trojan horses: Simba Gwashavamhu (528 yards, 8 TDs), Sylvester Oni (376 yards, 6 TDs), Billy Brown (390 yards 9 TDs), Solomon Vault (157 yards), and Kris Westphal (211 yards, 2TDs) versus the Urbana defense. Fetters also lead all Trojans rushers with 621 yards and 12 TDs on the ground.
The Hawks' defensive line is led by a pair of junior defensive ends in Jude Merkel (9.5 sacks, 15 TFLs) and Colton Kmetz (7 sacks, 16.5 TFLs). Their outfield tackling machines are senior linebackers Blake Gatewood (57 tackles) and Conner Cunningham (46 tackles).
Senior defensive back Aaron Bing has the division-leading 7 interceptions this season.
Urbana running back Wes Garey (951 rush yards) leads the Piedmont Conference in touchdowns with 16. Teammates Aaron Bing, Jude Merkel, and Blake Gatewood aren't too shabby either; they combine for 18 touchdowns.
The Hawks' passing game is headed by quarterback Mike Spahr. He has thrown for 1413 yards and 14 TDs. He leads the MVAL's Piedmont conference in pass yards and completion rate (63.6%).
This will be the last time the Trojans will play on a grass field at home. Gaithersburg high school is expected to go under renovations for the next three years and John H. Harvill Stadium's field will be converted into the artificial playing surface we all know as, "Field Turf."

URBANA HAWKS - Ijamsville, MD - Frederick County
Week opponent score opp record opp Win %
1 at Westminster W 30-0 6-4 .600
2 South Hagerstown W 55-19 5-5 .500
3 Jefferson (WV) W 37-0 1-9 .100
4 at Lackey W 35-0 3-7 .300
5 at Francis Scott Key W 49-0 1-9 .100
6 at Gov Thomas Johnson W 35-0 7-4 .636
7

::: Bye :::

8 Frederick W 37-6 1-9 .100
9 at Tuscarora W 34-10 4-6 .400
10 Linganore W 24-0 7-3 .700
11 Perry Hall W 28-0 7-4 .636
12 Patterson W 34-0 10-2 .833


3A STATE SEMI FINALS - FRIDAY 7:00 PM at DAMASCUS
DAMASCUS HORNETS vs WILDE LAKE WILDECATS


The next closest thing to Urbana is Damascus. The only place in the county that I know of that plays the likes of Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, and Montgomery Gentry for pre-game while the rest of the state indulges in Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and Metallica.
Wilde Lake came as a surprise because the favorite in Howard County are the ever-dominant River Hill Hawks. Resilient Wilde Lake had not beaten River Hill in almost five years yet found themselves chopping down the Hawks, tying the game in regulation and beating them at their own turn in overtime to win the 3A East Regional title. Wilde Lake's regular season defeats came against playoff teams Hammond (coached by former damascus head man Dan Makosy), River Hill, and Atholton. The Wildecats played Atholton in week 10. Atholton was the only team in HoCo to beat River Hill in the regular season this year. Wilde Lake lost to Atholton, 27-15. They faced each other again the following week in the regional semi finals and the Wildecats came out victorious, 21-7. Then came the Wildecats' rematch with 10-1 River Hill whom they defeated in overtime. That was the Hawks' fourth defeat in 67 games.
What saved Wilde Lake in their game against River Hill is their defense. The Hawks attacked early and just when they were about to take a two-score lead, Junior linebacker Antoine Barnes nabbed an interception deep in their own redzone and the game was a virtual defensive skirmish. W.L. pounded River Hill on the ground with Khalil Vierra before A.J. Harris found a hole and punctured his way to paydirt. Even with River Hill forcing turnovers of their own, Wilde Lake held strong until the end of the game.

Damascus "tale of the tape" Wilde Lake
12 Wins 9
0 Loses 3
403 (33.58) PF 322 (26.83)
144 (12.00) PA 140 (11.66)
8 30+ games 5
3 shutouts 3
259 Net 182
.540 opponent win % .531
(7) 1981, '92, '93, '96, 2003, '05, '07 State Titles (5) 1985, '90, '91, '92, '97

Khalil Vierra is the Wildecats' main man leading all rushers for about 700 yards and 7 touchdowns plus three touchdowns through the air. he is averaging just under 90 yards rushing per game.
Vierra will face a Damascus front that will likely stack the line and force them to throw. 'Cats quarterback Joe Kelly averages less than 50 yards passing a game and total under 350 yards through the air all year. Damascus' Malcolm and Nick Pugh, Sean Winner, Jake Wood, will be busy up front.

'Cats' linebacker Devin McCoy is the leading tackler with about 75 tackles in the season. Look for #6 to spy on Connor Frazier all night.
Mark O'Hara will relieve Frazier of the pounding up front. Joel Ross, Brandon Phelps, and Tyler Patton will keep the secondary honest.

WILDE LAKE WILDECATS - Columbia, MD - Howard County
Week opponent score opp record opp Win %
1 at Glenelg W 26-19 5-5 .500
2 Long Reach W 42-25 5-5 .500
3 Hammond L 6-14 10-2 .833
4 Mount Hebron W 50-0 1-9 .100
5 at Oakland Mills W 50-0 4-6 .400
6 Marriotts Ridge W 41-0 0-10 .000
7 at River Hill L 6-21 10-2 .833
8 at Reservoir W 19-6 5-5 .500
9 Centential W 33-14 2-8 .200
10 at Atholton L 15-27 8-3 .727
11 at Atholton W 21-7 8-3 .727
12 at River Hill W 13-7 OT 10-2 .833

Fetters and Kephart photo by TWP. Damascus photos by Ed Sheahin. Stats and numbers compiled by MoCoFootball.com with additional sources from Patch, TWP, and MaxPreps.


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