Todd Behler, a workhorse on offense, but happier with a chance to play defense, covered the fumble that meant the most to C. Milton Wright in a mistake-filled fourth quarter, and an ensuing touchdown provided the cushion in a 21-12 Harford County League victory at Aberdeen last night.
No. 7 Aberdeen (7-1, 5-0), totally outplayed in the first half, got one sustained second-half drive and E.J. Henderson dove over from a yard out two minutes into the fourth quarter to get the Eagles within 14-12.
The rest of the way, No. 10 Wright (6-2, 4-1) had drives end with a fumble and a punt, but Aberdeen could do little to help itself.
There were two drive-ending fumbles, and Behler, a running back/defensive back, took the heart out of the home team when he recovered a loose ball at the Eagles' 3-yard-line with three minutes left.
Moments later, Pete Fountain dove over the left side for the final touchdown.
Wright, which had played well in the first half, struggled in the second half, but Aberdeen could not take advantage of it.
Credit the Mustangs' down linemen, 288-pound Chris Lau and 229-pound Jake Kramer, backed by linebacker Ted May, who had a solid game until injuring a leg in the second half.
Wright scored the first two times it had the ball with drives of 57 yards and 43 yards. Behler capped both with 1-yard plunges.
For the game, Behler had 70 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, and senior speedster Dondre Gilliam, Aberdeen's rushing leader, was checked on 50 yards on 12 carries.
* Lake Clifton 20, Northern 16: Darnell Pearsall scored on a 4-yard run in the third quarter to lift Lake Clifton (5-3) over Northern (5-3). Terrill Lowery caught two touchdown passes from Joe Able for the Lakers.
* Forest Park 32, Edmondson 32, 3 OT: Forest Park's Aaron Thompson ran for 209 yards four touchdowns and four PATs as the Foresters (4-2-1) battled to a tie with Edmondson (2-5-1) after regulation and three overtimes in a game called because of darkness.
Edmondson's Samuel Scott had 142 yards, two touchdowns and three PATs.