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Maryland high school football notebook (11/22/2023)

St. Mary's Ryken wins fourth WCAC Metro Division title; Archbishop Spalding and Concordia Prep win MIAA championships; MPSSAA state semifinal previews
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The 2023 St. Mary’s Ryken football season was truly a rags-to-riches story. After their worst start in nearly a decade, the Knights were able to continue their mastery in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference with its fourth Metro Division championship last weekend.

The 28-14 victory over Archbishop Carroll (D.C.) was St. Mary’s Ryken’s fourth Metro title since the WCAC switched to division play (other division is Capital) in 2018.

The Knights opened the season 0-5, capped with a 42-6 loss to Good Counsel, the top-ranked team in the Maryland State Media Poll. The Falcons played DeMatha in the WCAC Capital championship Tuesday evening.

The St. Mary's-Ryken Knights rebounded from  an 0-5 start to reach the WCAC Metro Division championship game where they defeated Archbishop Carroll (DC) last week to win the title. SMR won its final seven games of 2023.

The St. Mary's-Ryken Knights rebounded from  an 0-5 start to reach the WCAC Metro Division championship game where they defeated Archbishop Carroll (DC) last week to win the title. SMR won its final seven games of 2023.

St. Mary’s Ryken (7-5 overall) won its final seven decisions, including a pair over Carroll, which interrupted its championship reign with a victory in the 2022 semifinals. Carroll went on to win the title.

The 0-5 start was the Knights’ worst opening since 2016 when they started 0-9. St. Mary’s Ryken avoided a winless season by defeating winless Carroll in the final game of the regular season.

Knights coach Gary Wynn credited the 2023 turnaround to his offensive line, which included two freshmen and a senior, Matthew Morris, who never played football before this year.

"I'm just so proud of them. The expectation level was so high, and for so many of them, their experience didn't match what the expectation was. They [still] came through for us," Wynn said to the Washington Post. "They are kind of like the embodiment of the program. They get that they are the foundation."

Good Counsel tops DeMatha in the rain

SBLive Sports was on hand Tuesday night at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium for the WCAC's main event, the football championship between Good Counsel and DeMatha.

The game was inundated with heavy rain throughout, leading to a defensive slugfest, won by Good Counsel, 7-0. Click on the link below to read out full game report.

Archbishop Spalding and Concordia Prep prevail in MIAA championship games

SBLive Sports had full coverage of Sunday's MIAA championship games from Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium.

Concordia Prep shutout John Carroll, 35-0, to win its second B Conference crown in the last three years, before it heads up to the A Conference next year.

In the A Conference final, Archbishop Spalding fell behind 7-0 early, but rallied for a 40-7 rout of McDonogh to claim its second straight A Conference crown.

Read more in the following links:

Getting closer to Annapolis for MPSSAA state finals

For a public high school football player in Maryland, there’s nothing better than practicing on Thanksgiving morning. That means they’re preparing for the state semifinals.

Twenty-four teams will be in action Friday and Saturday, seeking a spot in next weekend’s state championships at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

In a rematch of last year’s Class 2A/1A state final, Dunbar travels to Southern Maryland for a date with Patuxent (11-1). The undefeated and two-time reigning champ Poets (9-0) overcame an early 13-0 deficit for a 22-13 victory.

The other 2A/1A semifinal will be a Baltimore City/Southern Maryland affair with Forest Park (10-1) at Calvert (11-1).

Last year, Milford Mill outlasted Stephen Decatur in a breathtaking back-and-forth affair to advance to the Class 2A title game. The defending champ Millers (9-2) head to Eastern Shore for a semifinal reunion with unbeaten Decatur (12-0).

Milofrd Mill won 40-33 at home to secure a second straight 2A state title berth. The game featured seven lead changes, the final coming on quarterback Charlotte University commit Dashawn Purdie’s touchdown run with 38 seconds left in regulation.

In another rematch from the 2022 playoffs, undefeated Perry Hall (12-0) hosts Mervo in the 4A/3A semifinals. The Gators made an early touchdown drive hold up in a 7-6 victory in the second round of the North Region playoffs, ending Mervo’s state title reign.

The Mustangs (11-1), whose only loss came against Dunbar, handled Perry Hall, 42-3, in the 2021 North Region playoffs.

Prince George’s County rivals Eleanor Roosevelt and Wise will play for a berth in the 4A final. The matchup materialized in part to the disqualification of league rival and 2022 state finalist Flowers from the postseason for having an ineligible player.

Wise (10-1) and Roosevelt (10-2) did not play during the regular season.

Here’s the state semifinal schedule (all games Friday)


Cambridge-South Dorchester (9-2) at Mountain Ridge (10-1)

Perryville (9-2) at Fort Hill (11-0)


Dunbar (9-0) at Patuxent (11-1)

Forest Park (10-1) at Calvert (11-1)


Milford Mill (9-2) at Stephen Decatur (12-0)

Walkersville (7-5) at Huntingtown (9-2)


City (8-4) at Oakdale (12-0)

Northern-Calvert (8-4) at Linganore (11-1)


Mervo (11-1) at Perry Hall (12-0)

North Point (12-0) at Blake (11-0)


Broadneck (10-2) at Churchill (11-1)

Roosevelt (10-2) at Wise (10-1)