With a possible 3A North regional playoff berth in the cards if they won at home on Saturday night, the C. Milton Wright Mustangs had to swallow a season-ending loss instead, as the visiting Bel Air Bobcats rallied for a touchdown with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter to take a 17-14 victory over the hosts.
The Saturday-night contest started slowly, with neither side able to piece together a scoring drive through the first two quarters.
With the scoreboard still reading 0-0 at the start of the third quarter, the game began to swing Bel Air's way when the Bobcats recovered a fumbled punt on the CMW 34-yard line. Eight plays after the recovery, on a fourth-and-27 play, Bel Air quarterback Matt Wallace quick kicked the ball to the Mustang two yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, with the Mustangs backed up into their own end zone, Mustangs' quarterback Omar Walker slipped after taking a hike and made contact with the ground, resulting in a safety for the Bobcats.
After getting the ball right back on the ensuing safety kick, the Bobcats needed just seven plays to produce a 54-yard touchdown drive. Bel Air running back Juwan Singletary capped the drive with a six-yard run to the end zone, and the Bobcats' extra-point attempt was good, giving the guests a 9-0 advantage.
The Mustangs finally put points on the board on their first possession of the fourth quarter, driving 77 yards on nine plays for their first touchdown. Ending the offensive push was quarterback Omar Walker, who sprinted across the goal line from 10 yards out on a weak-side bootleg play. CMW's point after kick went through, making the score 9-7.
After getting the ball back via a Bel Air punt, the Mustangs needed just three plays to take the lead. On the second play of the drive, Walker hit Will Hazelton with a 27-yard pass that put the Mustangs on the Bel Air 47, and the following play Walker hit Hazelton again, this time with a 47-yard touchdown pass. The extra-point was good and CMW led 14-9 with just over seven minutes left to play.
Bel Air took possession on its own 32, and, after pushing to the CMW seven yard line on eight plays, saw Singletary rumble into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night. Up by one, the Bobcats decided to go for two points, and Wallace delivered with a wild scramble into the end zone.
The Mustangs drove to the Bel Air 45 on their final possession, but turned the ball over on downs with a minute left after Walker's fourth-and-17 pass attempt was swatted down.
Bel Air took a knee twice and the game was a three-point Bobcat win.
With the victory, Bel Air ended its regular season at 5-5 overall and 3-3 in Chesapeake (upper) Division play. CMW fell to 7-3 overall and 4-2 against Chesapeake opponents.
Aberdeen holds off Fallston
In a season finale that featured two unanswered scoring spurts, host Aberdeen held on to beat Fallston, 27-21, in an UCBAC Chesapeake Division game played Saturday night.
With Aberdeen (4-2, 5-5) holding a 7-0 lead with less than five minutes to play in the first half, Fallston went to work on a 21-point run, courtesy of an Eagles turnover.
Aberdeen quarterback Eric Briggs tried to throw a quick out on the far sideline, but the ball was popped loose and Cougar Nick Schwartz scooped it out of the air and raced 44 yards for the score. Ryan Goode's first of three extra points tied the score 7-7 with 4:17 left on the clock.
Following a quick three-down series by Aberdeen, Fallston took over at its own 39. Quarterback Brandon Weinhold struck quick, finding receiver Brad Rose down the field for a 61-yard touchdown with 1:27 to play.
Aberdeen fumbled the ensuing kickoff at the Eagles 33. Seven plays later, Marc Badger scored from three yards out. Goode's extra-point pushed the lead to 21-7 with 21 seconds left in the half.
Almost as quickly as they grabbed and blew up a lead, Fallston (3-3, 7-3) had no answer for Aberdeen in the third quarter.
Aberdeen's Dante Warfield took the second-half kickoff back 70 yards to the Cougars 10-yard line. On second down, Briggs lofted a 10-yard touchdown pass to Nate McKinney. Eric Whittie's kick pulled the Eagles to within seven, 21-14.
Another short field for Aberdeen on its next possession also led to points. Warfield scored on an 18-yard run and Whittie's kick knotted the score at 21-21 with 8:47 left in the quarter.
Aberdeen then forced the Cougars out on downs again, getting possession near midfield at its own 45.
A 42-yard pass play from Briggs to Austin Bonsall on third and seven moved the ball to the Fallston 10-yard line. Fullback Trashon Turner scored from 10 yards out on the next snap. The extra-point was blocked, however, leaving the margin at six points with 4:44 still to play in the third quarter.
An interception by Aberdeen's Maurice Harris ended one Fallston drive and another interception by Nick Wynn with 16 seconds remaining ended the game.
Aberdeen had taken its 7-0 lead late in the first quarter, on a 18-yard scoring screen pass from Briggs to Warfield.
Briggs completed 10 of 18 passes for 168 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Warfield finished with 74 yards on 18 carries, one touchdown on the ground and another through the air.
Weinhold was 12-of-34 for 198 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Rose, who caught the touchdown, had three catches for 69 yards.
Badger, who entered the game with an UCBAC best 1,670 yards on 208 carries, was bottled up all night. The Eagles held the talented running back to 22 yards on 21 carries.
Hawks pound Mariners
The North Harford Hawks wrapped up their regular season on Saturday night with a 46-0 drubbing of the visiting Joppatowne Mariners.
The win, which locked North Harford into the 3A North regional playoffs, put the Hawks at 8-2 overall and 6-0 in Chesapeake Division contests. Joppatowne (0-6 Chesapeake) fell to 1-9 overall.
Leading the Hawks in their victory was quarterback Nic Hammer, who tossed a season-best four touchdown passes and scored once himself on a 60-yard touchdown scramble.
Hawks' running back Josh Welsh barreled across the goal line on a two-yard touchdown effort, and Austin Bartenfelder scored once for North Harford on a nine-yard run.
Eric Bayer caught a 38-yard touchdown pass and Nick Tittle reeled in a 27-yard scoring pass. Sean Jackson had a 12-yard touchdown catch in the victory and Logan Kopek notched an eight-yard touchdown reception.
North Harford kicker Sean Bowling nailed three extra-point attempts.
Harford Tech topped
The Harford Tech Cobras closed out their 2012 season Saturday evening with a 42-6 loss to the visiting Perryville Panthers.
The defeat put Harford Tech at 2-8 overall and 0-7 in Susquehanna (lower) Division contests.
Warriors finish 1-9
Havre de Grace ended its year with a 24-6 loss to visiting Overlea Saturday night in non-league action.
Havre de Grace trailed 10-0 at the half, but broke up the shutout on Cameron Doe's one-yard touchdown run in the second half.
Friday win for Huskies
The Patterson Mill Huskies wrapped up their 2012 regular season football schedule with a big win Friday night, knocking off the host-team Rising Sun Tigers, 42-0.
The victory put the Huskies at 6-4 overall and 5-2 in Susquehanna (lower) Division play.
Patterson Mill quarterback Luke DePasquale connected on 11 of his 15 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown. On the ground, DePasquale rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.
Huskies' running back Devin Fisher scored one touchdown and notched 97 yards on 11 rushing attempts.
Kynarvis Clark ran the ball just twice in the victory, but still managed to registered 111 yards and one touchdown.
Ryan Jacobs led all receivers with 108 yards on seven catches.
Patterson Mill's Zach Dorn caught three passes for 49 yards and one touchdown.
Trey Hall had one 14-yard rushing touchdown in the victory and posted six tackles on defense.
Tyler Oppel led the Husky defense with 11 tackles, while Essa Rizkallah had seven tackles and two sacks.
In a Friday night Susquehanna finale for Edgewood, the Rams lost to host Bo Manor, 34-6. The Rams season ends at 2-5 and 3-7.