7 p.m. Friday

Walkersville (6-3) at Oakdale (6-3): Following Oakdale’s 23-20 victory at Walkersville on Oct. 25, Bears coach Kurt Stein declared to his team in its postgame huddle that, “We are going to see them again,” in reference to Walkersville. Well, those words came to fruition, as the teams prepare to meet in the playoffs for the third time in four years. Walkersville won the previous two postseason meetings in 2016 and ‘17. But the Lions are reeling following the regular-season loss to Oakdale two weeks ago and a 37-7 loss at Class 2A West rival Middletown last week. Oakdale, meanwhile, has won three in a row since a 28-7 loss at Middletown on Oct. 11. The winner of this game will face the winner of another 2A West matchup between the Middletown and Seneca Valley.

Frederick (4-5) at Linganore (8-1): How far can the Lancers, the Class 3A state champions in 2017 and a state runner-up last season, advance while being so one-dimensional on offense? Last week, they attempted just three passes and completed none in a 20-10 home win over Urbana. This will be the first time they have faced Frederick High since 2014. The Cadets are making their first postseason appearance since 2004 and are trying to avoid giving off the appearance they are just happy to be there. In the past two games they played on the field, they lost to Walkersville 67-18 and Urbana 39-20. Last week, they received a 2-0 forfeit victory over crosstown rival Thomas Johnson to edge Tuscarora by a point for the final spot in the 3A West playoffs. The winner of this game will take on the winner of another matchup in the 3A West between Rockville and Watkins Mill.

Seneca Valley (4-5) at Middletown (7-2): The Knights are suddenly playing some of the best football in the state. They have won six in a row since committing to an offense that is more reliant on short and quick passes on Sept. 20, outscoring the opposition 223-46 during that span. The emergence of junior running back Kadin Fisher has also been invaluable. Last week, Fisher rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries in a 37-7 rout of arch-rival Walkersville. This will mark Middletown’s first playoff appearance since 2016 when it fell 20-7 to eventual state champion Walkersville. Seneca Valley, meanwhile, has won three in a row since getting blown out at South Hagerstown 39-8 on Oct. 11. The winner of this game will take on the Walkersville-Oakdale winner next week.

Southern Garrett (3-6) at Catoctin (8-1): The Cougars are well positioned to make a run at their second state title. They are the top seed in the Class 1A West playoffs and will likely avoid playing defending 1A champion Fort Hill until at least the state semifinals. Catoctin, which won its previous state title in 2009, has a high-powered offense that is averaging close to 40 points per game. This will be its first meeting with Southern Garrett since a 28-27 road win last season. The struggling Rams are coming off a 36-0 loss at Northern Garrett last week. The winner of this game will take on the winner of another 1A West clash between Boonsboro and Clear Spring.

Urbana (6-3) at Walter Johnson (7-2): The Hawks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and a blowout loss at Damascus. They will try and shake off last week’s 20-10 at Linganore that saw them fail to cash in on three first-half turnovers for the Lancers and collapse under the persistent weight of the Linganore running game. Urbana was playing without its top offensive playmaker, junior running back Eric Kolar, who was injured in a 24-14 loss at Oakdale on Oct. 18. The Hawks are 1-1 since that game. Walter Johnson, meanwhile, had won two in a row until falling to state power Quince Orchard 47-7 last week. The winner of this game will take on the winner of another 4A West matchup between Quince Orchard and Gaithersburg.

Brunswick (4-5) at Fort Hill (8-1): The Railroaders will be huge underdogs against Fort Hill, which has won three of the last four state titles in Class 1A, including last year. Brunswick is making its first playoff appearance since 2012 when it beat Fort Hill on the road in a regional championship game. The Railroaders, who have gotten healthier over the course of the season, acquitted themselves well against Catoctin last week before falling at home, 49-28. Fort Hill, meanwhile, comes into the game riding a five-game winning streak. The winner of this game will take on the winner of the 1A West playoff game between Northern Garrett and Williamsport.

— Greg Swatek

Follow Greg Swatek on Twitter: @greg_swatek

(5) comments

DickD

I posted this under prophets, apparently no one read it there.

What is interesting, to me, is the points scored for and against Walkersville and Oakdale. Oakdale has one point more scored against them, but have scored 9 points more. Using my formula, that would give Oakdale a 4 point advantage, as the game is being played at Oakdale. So, another close game like 23 - 20 is likely, with Oakdale winning. In a close game, who really knows - it can go either way.

Frederick at Linganore - the score will be what Linganore wants it to be. Joe's 50 to 7 looks good to me.

Seneca Valley at Middletown - Seneca Valley had a bad year, they don't score a lot and are poor defensively. My pick is Middletown 46 to 10.

S. Garrett at Catoctin - Catoctin had a good year. Catoctin should win this one 52 to 10.

Urbana at Walter Johnson - Walter Johnson should win by 16. Walter Johnson 36 to 20.

Brunswick at Ft. Hill - a long distance to play a tough team. Ft. Hill should win 54 to 14.

What I really don't like is the 2 A seeding, If you look at points scored, won/loss, and schedule, there is a good argument for the following seeding:

1 Middletown

2 Oakdale

3 Walkersville

4 Glenelg

5 Liberty

As it is Middletown will play the winner of the Oakdale/Walkersville game, assuming that Middletown wins. Both teams are better than Glenelg.

Bart Rowe

SV will hang with Middletown for a bit. Oakdale should beat Walkersville but may be close. Urbana will surprise WJ. MoCo schedules are a little softer if you avoid the big 3

Bart Rowe

Walkersville will need to be ready to go from the get-go. Linganore should have an easy time and may get through 3 rounds. Unless they develop some form of passing threat, they will run into a roadblock in the semis, either Franklin or Damascus. SV has been playing better lately and may stay in the game with Middletown but will get outmanned in the end. Urbana has a real shot at beating WJ congrats; you then get QO!

Thewheelone

Can someone rationally tell me how two teams at 4-5 and one at 3-6 deserve to be in the playoffs? I know they playoffs been expanded this year, but to what end? This amounts to loss of revenue schools that would have received income that helps support other athletic teams. The state gets the money for the admission fee in playoffs, not the schools.

Bart Rowe

I think it is a step in acknowledging that more and more schools will drop football due to low participation like TJ did this year. It is also a way to allow for reseeding to not penalize the schools in the West division ala Walkersville and Damascus playing in the 2nd round in 2017. Under this year's rule they would meet in the championship. The disparity between the top end schools and all others has gotten too great. The regular season will probably continue to reduce.

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