Teon Carter froze Severna Park defenders on several occasions, scoring three touchdowns with his speed and dazzling moves, but it was North County's "refrigerator" offense that won the game as the Knights spoiled the No. 12 Falcons' homecoming with a 27-20 victory last night.
The 10th-ranked Knights (5-1) got the winning touchdown with 8:54 left on a 1-yard plunge by 6-foot, 240-pound linebacker Troy Fowlkes. Fowlkes was inserted as a running back in the final moments much the same way Mike Ditka used to use William "Refrigerator" Perry.
"We had that offense with Troy in there on ice cubes until tonight," said Knights coach Chuck Markiewicz, who has run Fowlkes in practice, but has been hesitant to use him in a game for fear of losing his best defensive player.
"I figured Troy could fall for 3 yards, and he got it done for us."
Ryan Moore's second interception of the night with 51 seconds to go in the third period, gave the Falcons a first and 10 at the Knights' 48.
One rushing play for a yard ended the third period, and on the first play of the final period, Mark Fleming broke it up the middle on a trap for a 47-yard touchdown to make it 18-14 Falcons. Holder Shane Norgard jumped and tossed a two-point conversion pass to Ron Nichols to make it 20-14.
The ensuing kickoff went out of bounds for a 5-yard penalty, but unfortunately for Severna Park (4-2) the next one by Matt Almes stayed in and was grabbed by Carter. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior broke three tackles and out-ran everybody 87 yards to a tying touchdown.
"I was thinking touchdown just like Damon Martin did to them on a kickoff last year," said Carter, who also had five receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
North County failed on the extra-point attempt, but got the ball back when Moore fumbled on first down at his 24. After Justin Rice (9-for-19, 183 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions) hit Kevin Mitchell on a 12-yard pass to the 17, Fowlkes rambled 14 yards for a first-and-goal at the 3 and scored on third down from the one with 8:54 left.
"We needed this one bad," said Markiewicz, whose team was upset by Arundel, 20-14 last week and had not played well in a 28-14 win over Glen Burnie the week before.
North County drew first blood on its fourth play from scrimmage, a 71-yard pass play from Rice to Carter. Carter, who split the Falcons defense right down the middle on a fly pattern, set up the touchdown by grabbing a 14-yard pass out to the 29 from Rice on a third and 10 situation.
The Knights had the football for only eight plays in the first period as the Falcons offense, unable to score, did control the clock offensively.
North County scored its second touchdown with 7:18 left in the half after the two teams exchanged fumbles.
The Falcons' fumble came at the Knights' 31. Rice then hit Kevin Mitchell on a slant, and the senior end turned it into a 56-yard gain to the Severna Park 13 with a face-mask penalty giving the Knights a first-and-goal at the 7.
It was Rice and Carter again for a 7-yard touchdown pass, and Feuerherd's kick made it 14-0. Severna Park converted two North County turnovers into touchdowns in the final six minutes of the first half.
A 37-yard punt by Tim Krulis took a high, hard bounce off the fingertips of Carter at his 13 and the Falcons' John Cornett
smothered it at the eight.
Matt Long crashed in on a quick trap, but Matt Almes' extra-point kick attempt was blocked, and it was 14-6 North County with 5:55 in the half. Almes had missed earlier field-goal attempts of 28 and 44 yards.
Not content to sit on its 14-6 lead, North County and put it up deep in its territory and Ryan Moore intercepted at the 11 with 33 seconds left in the half.
Two plays later, junior quarterback Bill Erskine, who had replaced the injured Sean Miller (hand injury) in the last seven minutes, hit Kevin Grizzle on a quick pop from 4 yards with 18 seconds left to make it 14-12. The Falcons' faked kick attempt for two points failed.