There was less than a minute to go with Poolesville leading Winters Mill by six points, and the Falcons were moving the ball down the field.
Sophomore quarterback Alex Barnes made clear connections with four different players to gain momentum in Poolesville territory as the minute ticked away. In the end, though, it just wasn't enough.
Poolesville defeated Winters Mill 19-13 on Friday, ending the Falcons' unbeaten start to the season.
Senior wide receiver Dimeon Wright led the Falcons, catching four passes for 77 yards and for 54 yards and two touchdowns. Barnes completed 13 of 21 passes for 133 yards, and receiver Troy Blessing caught eight passes for 68 yards.
"This game says as much about our progress as the first two combined," Falcons coach Matt Miller said. "We won two games and I was happy for us but tonight you really saw when the chips were down what we were really made of and again, we're within 10-15 yards of scoring and winning the football game so that says as much about our team as anything."
Early in the first quarter, Poolesville faced first-and-10 near midfield at the 44-yard line when WM senior Tre Woodyard picked off Poolesville quarterback Ethan Gaddis' pass with 9:48 to go. Wright responded about a minute later with a 52-yard scamper for the first score of the night. Junior Casey Rowe's point-after kick was good and the Falcons led 7-0.
Junior running back Connell Oberman responded with a 2-yard dash with 2:42 in the first to get Poolesville on the board. The Falcons got the ball back, only to fumble it away on their first play. That fumble eventually led to another Poolesville touchdown, this time from senior running back Keegan Hemingway.
Barnes found Wright for a 50-yard score with 5:48 to go in the second to bring the teams even again, and it stayed 13-13 going into halftime.
Kyle Shanholtz and Dawson Wisner brought Poolesville quarterback Ethan Gaddis down for an 18-yard loss with 5:03 to go in the fourth quarter. But Poolesville scored its a touchdown on the next play.
Then, Winters Mill started to roll.
It was fourth-and-10 at the Poolesville's 29-yard line and Winters Mill seemed prepared to go in for a score. Poolesville was called for interference, which gave the Falcons a first down.
Poolesville (1-2) intercepted Barnes' pass a few plays later, however, but failed to gain momentum, which put the ball back in the Falcons' hands.
Despite a surge in offense, the Falcons were unable to capitalize.
Winters Mill (2-1) entered Week 3 with wins over Patterson Mill and Bohemia Manor. Their win in Week 1 snapped a 9-game losing streak from 2015, their third straight 1-9 season.
Poolesville had suffered losses to Seneca Valley and Wheaton – Seneca Valley lost to the eventual Class 3A state champion Damascus in the 3A West Region final last season. Wheaton fell to Potomac in the 3A South Region final game in 2015.
Miller said his team is getting closer to where it needs to be and he's seeing contributions from all positions.
"There's a lot of kids like that," Miller said. "I told some of our defensive linemen, I challenged them, there's some kids who didn't start tonight that started last week and they got in tonight and made some plays. It's not just the kids who get the stats, it's the kids who come off the bench and make the plays."