The Aberdeen Eagles notched another post-season victory on Friday, beating the host-team North Harford Hawks, 38-20, Friday's Class 3A North regional football title game.
With the victory, Aberdeen (10-2), which lost to the Hawks, 38-12, in week five of the regular season, will move on to the state semifinals.
"The first time we played North Harford, we just didn't play up to our capabilities," Aberdeen head coach Johnny Brooks said. "I said before this game that if we matched them physically, which would be tough because North Harford is a very physical team, that good things would happen. We held onto the ball tonight and had some big plays when we needed them."
The Hawks (9-3) struck first in Friday's regional final, scoring on their second possession. After North Harford drove to the Aberdeen eight yard line, Ryan Stinar hit Brady Maguire with a touchdown pass on a third-and-eight play. Chris King nailed his extra-point attempt to give the Hawks a 7-0 advantage.
Aberdeen did not wait long to answer their hosts' opening touchdown, as the Eagles' Austin Bonsall returned North Harford's ensuing kickoff 82 yards for the score. Bonsall was blocked on the extra-point kick, leaving the score 7-6.
The Hawks moved the ball down to Aberdeen's four-yard line on their next drive, but Stinar's fourth-and-goal pass fell incomplete in the end zone and North Harford turned the ball over on downs.
After getting the ball back on the Aberdeen 13 when Aberdeen coughed up a fumble, North Harford found the Eagle end zone in two plays, with Stinar hitting receiver Nick Tittle with a 13-yard pass. King knocked another extra-point kick through the uprights, putting his team up 14-6.
Down by eight, Aberdeen moved the ball to the North Harford four yard line on eight plays, then Eagle quarterback Kenny Faulcon capped the drive with a touchdown scramble. On the two-point conversion attempt, Faulcon hit Christian Carpenter with what looked like a game-tying pass, but an official ruled Carpenter out of bounds, leaving the Eagles trailing 14-12.
Following another fourth-down stop of the Hawks, Aberdeen took the ball back at the 50-yard line with a little more than a minute left in the first half. After Aberdeen moved to the Hawks' one yard line, and five seconds before the half-time whistle, Faulcon put the Eagles up for the first time, scrambling into the end zone on a busted pass play. Aberdeen opted to run a fake field goal on the extra-point kick, but the play was ruled dead because the Eagles' spotter had his knee on the ground when he handled the ball.
Heading into the locker room at half-time, Aberdeen held an 18-14 advantage.
In the second half, Faulcon tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Chavez Cheatham, and ran the ball in on a two-point conversion play. Aberdeen's final tallies of the game came in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, when Bonsall scored on an 11-yard touchdown sprint.
The Hawks found Aberdeen's end zone once in the third quarter, but could not manage another score for the balance of the contest.