A heavy rainstorm forced officials to suspend play five minutes into the second half yesterday afternoon, and Fallston and C. Milton Wright, both unbeaten in the Harford County League, will try to settle the outcome tomorrow afternoon, when the game is scheduled to be resumed from the point of interruption.
Although the National High School Federation rules consider it an official game if at least a half has been completed when play is suspended because conditions make it impossible to continue, there is a state rule that gives dispensation to teams when approved by a state official.
In this instance, Steve Malone, state rules interpreter, gave the teams permission to complete the contest.
The weather and the resulting suspension spoiled what was expected to be an even match between two highly skilled teams, No. 3 Fallston (9-0, 5-0) and No. 10 Wright (6-2-2, 5-0).
There was a brief, fierce rainstorm before the game, and most of the first half was played in a steady rain, including the last 10 minutes when it became heavier and was whipped by strong winds.
Two minutes into the second half, the officials spoke with both coaches regarding deteriorating field conditions, then allowed play to resume. At the time, Fallston led 1-0 on a goal by Steve Schissler 15 minutes into the first half.
The visitors tied it less than two minutes later on a shot by Chris LeBarron, the ball skipping past goalkeeper Eric McPhee, who was hampered by the soupy conditions. Another minute passed, and play was called.
Coaches Len Petrey of Fallston and Paul Snyder of C. Milton Wright agreed with the decision to stop the game, as the field was unplayable and there was the possibility of a serious injury to one of the players.
A sidelight of which the coaches were well aware was the weight the game had in the Class 2A (Fallston) and 3A (Wright) seedings for the state tournament.
Schissler's goal, the second of the season for the senior co-captain, came off a pass from Brian Benner. It was a rising shot from 25 yards away, the ball going into the far upper corner of the goal.
Ahead of LeBarron's tying goal, the senior forward had a shot from almost the same spot, about 20 yards out on the right side. He sent that one a foot wide of the far goal post.
McPhee recorded four saves and Wright's Tim Hilyard had five, as almost the entire playing time was spent between the two 18-yard lines.
After tomorrow, each will have one league game remaining Tuesday -- Fallston at Joppatowne and Wright at Havre de Grace.