Winters Mill's Cayden Beard, left, and Cooper Maus, right, celebrate with Winters Mill quarterback Matheo Cuenca after he scored the game-winning touchdown during the second half of their 20-17 win over the Eagles in Uniontown Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.
Winters Mill's Cayden Beard, left, and Cooper Maus, right, celebrate with Winters Mill quarterback Matheo Cuenca after he scored the game-winning touchdown during the second half of their 20-17 win over the Eagles in Uniontown Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

The Ravens’ RISE showcase game of the week lived up to the billing.

Friday night’s tense contest between Winters Mill and Francis Scott Key came down to the final drive. Trailing by three points with less than a minute to play, Winters Mill drove inside Key’s 10-yard line with a first-and-goal. With under 30 seconds to go, quarterback Matheo Cuenca scored on a keeper to cap the rally and lead Winters Mill to a 20-17 Carroll County Athletic League win in Uniontown.

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The Falcons’ offense came out strong early, as Winters Mill (2-1, 1-0 CCAL) methodically moved the ball down the field on its first drive. Cuenca used his legs to pick up a couple of first downs and found wideout Cayden Beard for a couple of big gains. Cuenca used a play-action pass, rolled out of the pocket and found Beard on a 31-yard pass to cap the drive with a TD and a 7-0 lead.

Trailing 7-0 and its offense struggling to move the ball, FSK (1-2, 0-1) pulled off a fake punt for a big gain by quarterback Reese Sauter. Sauter took the snap and broke several tackles to pick up 15 yards on a fourth-and-6. The play seemed to spark the Eagles offense, and FSK scored five plays later on a 2-yard run by Ryan Rill.

Sauter rushed over the right side over the line for a successful two-point conversion that gave the Eagles an 8-7 advantage.

After FSK took the slim lead, Winters Mill again looked poised to score as it drove the ball deep into FSK territory. The Eagles’ defense buckled down and forced a key turnover in the game. With a first down just outside the 20, Cuenca dropped back and found a receiver inside the FSK 3-yard line. The Eagles swarmed to the play and forced a fumble at the 1.

On the ensuing drive, FSK’s drive seemed to stall inside its own 30-yard line facing a third-and-long. However, Sauter came up big by avoiding the Falcons’ blitz and finding a streaking Jaeden Heiser for a 67-yard gain to take the ball just outside the WM 20-yard line.

Rill capped that drive with his second score of the game on the ground.

An interception by the FSK on the following drive set the Eagles up with a chance to add to their lead with under a minute left in the half. The Eagles moved the ball down the WM 8-yard line, but the drive stalled and ended with a 25-yard field goal from Sauter for a 17-7 lead by FSK at the half.

After a scoreless third, Winters Mill got back in the game with a long TD drive orchestrated by Cuenca. The QB picked up a first down with his legs and found receiver Andrew Buzzeo for another as the Falcons drove into the red zone. Cuenca capped the drive with an 8-yard TD pass to Anthony Cegielski to trim the Falcons’ deficit to 17-14.

The homecoming contest had a big game feel with players from each team charging through fog onto the field through the Ravens’ entry way arch. In attendance were several members of the Ravens cheerleading squad, team mascot Poe and a couple of special guests.

Ravens punter Sam Koch and defensive end Chris Wormley spoke to each team prior to the game, joined the teams at midfield for the coin toss, and presented a check to each team’s athletic program.

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