Parkville figured its dominating defense would limit the effectiveness of Milford Mill.
The visiting Knights did just that by forcing five turnovers Saturday, but they didn't expect to be so accommodating.
Punting from their own 16-yard line with a 3-point lead, a bad snap sailed over the Parkville punter's head.
Then, he picked up the ball near the goal line, ran with it and was quickly tackled at the 2.
Milford Mill (3-0) took possession and on the next play, quarterback Kyle McEachern went up the middle for a score with 2:24 remaining to hand Parkville a 15-12 loss.
Parkville coach John Marquette wished his punter had taken a safety.
"It's a heartbreaker," he said. "We had them (beaten) until three minutes left in the game. That was a pivotal mistake that killed us."
The real story was the Knights' defense. Daquan Griffin intercepted two passes, Otis Pullen had one pick while Dante Knight and DeQuann Pittman each recovered a fumble.
Pittman recovered a fumble early in the third quarter that set up Parkville's first touchdown and allowed the Knights (2-1) to pull to 7-6.
Two plays after the turnover, quarterback Andy Madore hit Nolin Shacklett in the corner of the end zone with 9:09 left.
A minute later, Griffin, a senior defensive back, returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown and a 12-7 Knights' lead.
Parkville's second two-point conversion attempt failed.
Milford Mill trimmed the lead to 12-9 in the middle of the fourth quarter on a safety. The Millers pinned Parkville inside the 10 and punter ran into the end zone, where he was downed.
Millford Mill coach Reggie White found it hard to forget the series that resulted in the winning touchdown.
"(I am thanking) the football gods," White said. "I don't know why the kid didn't take the safety? But I am glad he didn't."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun