After a dominant defensive effort by Lansdowne, the host Vikings needed a dynamic offensive play in the final minute of their game Friday night with Patapsco and that's exactly what they got.
On first and goal from the Patriot 17, senior signal-caller Dominick Mullin (98 yards rushing) decided to call his own number and the quarterback draw worked to perfection.
Mullin darted up the middle, faster than a kayak zipping down the Patapsco River during a tropical storm, and dove into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown with 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Center Tyler Wilford picked off one linebacker and fullback David Wright blocked another as Patapsco players drifted aside and Mullin gave the Vikings a 20-14 victory.
Wilford knew exactly what to expect after the shotgun snap.
"Follow me baby," he said. "I saw the linebacker dropping back and said 'I've got to get this guy' and I picked one and David picked one," Wilford said.
Mullin, who called the play on his own, waited until after halftime to use the gimmick play.
"We worked on it in practice and we saved it until the last minute because at halftime we were working on the shotgun snap," Mullin said.
What was he thinking when he saw the gaping hole?
"Happiness man, daylight, daylight," he said.
The play rewarded an outstanding defensive effort by the Vikings (1-2), who forced six turnovers and held the Patriots to three first downs and only 18 yards of total offense.
Several of the Patriot yards were lost because of errant shotgun snaps, but the Vikings still made their share of game-changing plays.
Mullin, Wolford and Darrick Purnell had interceptions and Nick Farmer had two fumble recoveries and Kyle Beard had one.
Farmer's second fumble recovery came on the Patriot 3-yard line after a bad snap.
The 5-foot-8, 155-pound sophomore wrestled the ball away from 6-foot-3 170-pound senior Aaron Phillips.
That led to a short touchdown run by Deon Hill, and Mullin's extra-point conversion pass from the 7-yard line (after a penalty) to sophomore Edrick Mallard gave the Vikings a 14-6 lead with 7:43 left in the fourth quarter.
But a 42-yard kickoff return by Diez Felton and 30-yard run by quarterback Carl Young led to a 5-yard touchdown run by Phillips and ensuing conversion run by Phillips to tie the game at 14-14 with 4:59 left.
Lansdowne punted after three plays netted two yards, but Patapsco lost the field position battle when an errant snap resulted in a 14-yard loss on first down.
Lansdowne's Farmer and Ivan Neville were there to meet Young after the fumble at the Patapsco 9-yard line.
Good pass coverage by John Miller and Mullin forced incompletions on the next two plays and the Vikings took over after a punt at the Patapsco 39 with 2:41 remaining.
Mullin gained 22 yards on five rushes to set up the game-winning score that helped Lansdowne coach Ken Schuckle take a deep breath and relax.
"We turned the ball over too many times," said Schuckle, lamenting over his team's three fumbles and inability to score inside the 5-yard line twice.
"My heart shouldn't be jumping through my chest so much," he said.
When Mullin dove in for the game-winning score it was his legs that were jumping up and down on the sideline.
"It feels real good," he said.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun