The North Carroll stadium was completely empty shortly after the Panthers' 2-1 victory over visiting Francis Scott Key when first-year coach Denny Snyder was left wondering whether it was his job to turn out the lights.
In Hampstead, things are a bit different now with Ed Powelson, who spent 34 years as North Carroll coach, watching games from the press box.
Powelson liked what he saw last night as Snyder and the Panthers (3-1-1) made a successful home debut.
"It's nice to win that first one at home -- it was a big one," Snyder said. "It was just a little different without Ed Powelson on the sidelines. I played for him for four years and he was a great example."
Neither team went home feeling short-changed of scoring opportunities in a wide-open game.
Tony Reightler scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season to lead the Panthers. It offset a fine offensive effort from Key's Robbie Green, who scored the Eagles' only goal and put seven more shots on goal.
Key keeper Mike Crawmer turned back 12 North Carroll shots, while North Carroll's Justin Malbrough had eight saves.
"I don't know how many times [North Carroll] hit the post and we had a lot of point-blank shots. We have to execute more than one time -- that's what the game's all about," said Key coach G. Hibberd.
"North Carroll took advantage of two opportunities and we took advantage of one, it's that simple."
All the scoring took place in the first half. Reightler got things started with seven minutes gone, converting on a penalty kick after teammate Ryan Bowles was dragged down in front of the goal.
Green quickly answered when he beat a defender down the left side and cut in front of Malbrough before sending a low shot to the near post.
Green had a few more chances for the Eagles and Reightler headed one off the post before Reightler provided the game-winner with 11 minutes left in the half.
Reightler took a short pass from Joe Dressel in close along the right side and took a shot off a tough angle. Crawmer got a piece of it before it went in front and then off a Key defender and into the goal.
"Tony's work has been great and he's been very intense," Snyder said. "When he's playing like that, the whole team is playing that much harder."
The chances continued in the second half, but the scoring didn't. North Carroll's Bowles had a shot hit the post and Derek Easter's follow went over the cross bar.
Key's Jesse Oakes had a great chance on a Green cross, but his volley went just wide.
"We had opportunity after opportunity to put it away and hit a lot of posts," Snyder said. "We're working hard on getting in position to get the opportunities and they'll soon start finding the net."
The final whistle blew just after Green cranked a shot from 18 yards out right at Malbrough.