On an unusually warm night for the ninth week of the high school football season, the action didn't cool off.
The marquee match-up was in Fallston, where the Cougars were able to stay unbeaten against North Harford in a key UCBAC Chesapeake (upper) Division battle. In other Chesapeake action, Aberdeen edged Perryville, Patterson Mill beat Havre de Grace and Bel Air nipped C. Milton Wright.
In Susquehanna (lower) Division play, Edgewood handled Joppatowne, while Harford Tech was beaten by Elkton.
Fallston outlasts North Harford
The Fallston Cougars added a little spice to a budding rivalry on Friday night, making two big defensive stops in the final five minutes of their home-field contest with North Harford to take a 19-14 victory over the visiting Hawks.
Since 2007, the two teams have played seven times, with North Harford winning four of the contests, and Fallston three. Friday's win made the Cougars the lone UCBAC squad with three victories against North Harford over that span. Fallston last won the matchup in 2011, when they defeated the Hawks, 35-20, and three seasons before that the Cougars topped North Harford, 35-7.
The 2012 installment of the Fallston vs. North Harford game saw the Hawks slip away with a 14-13 victory, having thwarted a last-second, two-point conversion attempt from the Cougars.
In Friday's showdown at Fallston, the hosts trailing, 14-13, with less than seven minutes left in the fourth quarter took possession of the ball on their own six-yard line following a North Harford punt. The Cougars, mixing between the run and pass as they drove out of their own territory, eventually made it to the opposing eight-yard line, where they faced a first-and-goal play. Fallston quarterback Brendan Weinhold handed off to running back Andrew Monaghan, who busted through the line, shed one tackler and dove across the line for what would be the winning score.
Fallston went for the two-point conversion after their final touchdown, but Weinhold's pass to the end zone was tipped by North Harford, leaving the score 19-14 in the hosts' favor.
North Harford took the ball back with 4:50 left on the clock and got off one first down, but then turned over the ball on downs after a recovered fumble and three incomplete passes.
Fallston killed just over a minute off the clock on its next possession before punting back to North Harford, which recovered on its own 36 with 2:05 left.
On the second play of the drive, North Harford's Nic Hammer unleashed a long pass over the middle, and there to step in for the interception was Fallston's Brad Rose, who immediately kneeled the ball on the Cougars' 48.
Three running plays later, Fallston was facing a fourth-and-inches near midfield, and the Cougars decided to go for it. The decision proved fruitful, as Monaghan powered for two yards and the first down. The Cougars ran out the last minute left on the clock, and the victory was theirs.
North Harford broke a scoreless tie with 30 seconds left in the first quarter, when Zach Edwards broke loose from 30 yards out for a touchdown. Sean Bowling added the point-after kick to give the Hawks a 7-0 edge.
At the 9:25 mark in the second quarter, following a Fallston push to the North Harford two-yard line, the Cougars' Ross Mitchell powered into the end zone for his team's first touchdown. Luke Reuter hit the extra-point kick, tying the game at seven points apiece.
With just under 90 seconds left before halftime, the Hawks went back ahead, when Hammer hit Ryan Feiss with a 21-yard touchdown pass. Bowling's converted extra-point attempt left the score at 14-7 in North Harford's favor heading into the intermission.
The next score would not come until the end of the third quarter, after Fallston drove to the North Harford 10-yard line on six plays. Weinhold capped the drive with a 10-yard scoring pass to Niko Rice.
Reuter came on afterward for what would have been the game-tying extra-point, but his kick drifted wide right, leaving the Hawks with a 14-13 advantage.
The win extended Fallston's season-long win streak and pushed the Cougars to 9-0 overall and 6-0 in Chesapeake Division contests. The Hawks fell to 5-3 overall, and 4-2 against upper-division foes.
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