Ordinarily, C. Milton Wright will pound the football at an opposition on the ground and use the pass sparingly to keep defenses honest.
But the Mustangs changed the script last night as quarterback Todd Shilow passed for four touchdowns to pace a 35-3 rout of previously unbeaten Fallston that retained their supremacy in Harford County.
Fourth-ranked Wright (4-0) thus took sole possession of the top spot in the county league. Fallston dropped to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the league.
"That's usually not us," said Mustangs coach Steve Harward of the passing outbreak. "But you've got to take what's there. We had some matches we could take advantage of."
The Cougars did most of the pounding in the first half, rushing for 153 yards with their full-house backfield led by co-captains Matt Sutphin and Mark Rhoten.
But they managed only a field goal by Kristy Heron as two interceptions and a C.M. Wright defensive stand thwarted three other drives.
Harward was expecting such a hard-nosed game.
"I've been at Wright 10 years and every time we play, it's a war," he said. "I used to coach here and two of their coaches were with me, so it's a big cross-town rivalry."
The difference was in the big-play ability of the Mustangs, something they showed quickly when Shilow connected with Pete Fountain on an 84-yard touchdown play on their second play from scrimmage.
After the Cougars' field goal, C.M. Wright scored on a 55-yard march featuring the running of Todd Behler and Shilow's well-timed passes. Shilow hit Chris Russell for the score from the 5 on the first play of the second period.
Any comeback hopes by Fallston were squelched decisively when the Mustangs took a recovered onside kick that opened the second half 53 yards to a touchdown and a 21-3 cushion.
Shilow and Fountain connected again, this time for 16 yards, and Russell kicked the third of his five extra points.
From there it became a rout. A blocked punt by Nick Joines set up Wright's fourth TD (a pass to All-Metro Duane Fisher) and a 30-yard sweep by Jason Stiles accounted for the fifth.
Fallston punted, had a punt blocked from its 23 and stalled at midfield on its first three possessions of the second half.