Bel Air tried to spoil Havre de Grace's homecoming last night.
And for one half, the Bobcats got away with it.
Unfortunately for the visitors, every game has two halves, and Havre de Grace showed just how much damage it could do in 24 minutes as it rallied from a 12-point deficit to claim a 28-18 victory in a key Harford County League matchup.
"The kids played well, what more can I say?" said Havre de Grace coach Tom Marron. "They picked it up when they had to."
Trailing 12-0 at halftime, the Warriors wasted no time in getting back in the game in the second half. After forcing the Bobcats to turn the ball over on downs on their opening drive, Havre de Grace took over at the Bobcats' 43.
Four plays later -- one being a 32-yard run by Michael Wood -- the Warriors were in the end zone after a 1-yard run by junior quarterback Billy Jackson.
Wood, who finished the night with 154 yards on 15 carries, then ran for 4 yards to complete the two-point conversion and pull the hosts to within 12-8.
Bel Air's next two possessions won't be part of the Bobcats' highlight film.
They fumbled the ball away on their first series and then watched in disbelief as Christopher Mentzer picked off a Tony Belcastro pass and raced 39 yards for the go-ahead score.
Jackson showed his ability to throw the ball on the run in the fourth quarter when he sprinted to his left and delivered a 14-yard pass between two defenders and into Brochu's chest.
Jackson then escaped the grasp of a defender and hit senior wingback Jack Donaldson for the two-point conversion, giving his team a 22-12 lead with 11:49 remaining.
"I told the guys at halftime to reach down and show the people who came out to watch them just what they are capable of," said Warriors assistant coach George Leonard.
"They dug down hard in the second half, played up to their abilities and pulled it out."
Bel Air, which plays cross-town rival C. Milton Wright next week, cut the margin on a 33-yard touchdown scamper by Chris Siplin, but the Warriors returned the margin to 10 four minutes later when Jackson scored on a sneak from 1 yard away.
The Bobcats (4-2), whose only other loss was to league-leading and 11th-ranked Aberdeen, 18-16, jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first half on a 6-yard touchdown strike from Belcastro to receiver Mike Deal and a 2-yard run by senior Sekou Hinton.
Bel Air threatened to widen the margin before the half but landed short and wide with time winding down in the second quarter.
"Give Havre de Grace the credit because they came out and adjusted in the second half and did what they had to do to win," said Bel Air coach Bruce Riley.
"I tell our kids that to win you have to take advantage of the championship moments and Havre de Grace is the one that took advantage of those moments and came up with the big play."