Milford Mill coach Reggie Brooks knew before yesterday's game against visiting Overlea that another loss would end his team's playoff hopes.
But that wasn't the Millers' motivation.
"You never need any added motivation to beat Overlea," Brooks said.
Unranked Milford Mill was looking for respect and came away with that and more: a 24-20 victory over the previously unbeaten and fifth-ranked Falcons.
Antrell Wilkins' 1-yard run for the winning score with 30 seconds remaining capped an 11-play, 60-yard drive.
The Millers (6-2), 4-6 last season, began play in third place in the Class 2A, North Region with 47.3 points, trailing Overlea (60 points) and Aberdeen (51).
"We were looking for recognition," said Milford Mill senior running back Brandon Scarborough.
Scarborough, a transfer from Liberty, helped the Millers attain it, despite fumbling three times in the second half. He rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries and also went 2-for-2 for 58 yards passing and had one reception for 25 yards.
Scarborough's 28-yard option pass to Lakoven Bullie on third-and-10 at the 50-yard-line was one of the two key plays in the Millers' winning drive.
The other was a 27-yard pass from Anthony Davis to Ryan Garrus between two defenders to set up a first-and-goal at the Falcons' 5.
Scarborough then gained four yards to the Overlea 1 before Wilkins' touchdown.
It was the fourth straight win for Milford Mill, which took a 12-0 lead on its first two possessions before Overlea (7-1) scored 20 consecutive points to take an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Milford Mill, whose winning streak includes a come-from-behind win over a previously unbeaten Owings Mills team, pulled within 20-18 with 9:49 left in the fourth quarter when Sean Galloway recovered the ball after a bad snap on an Overlea punt attempt and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown.
The Millers, who out-gained the Falcons in total offense, 338-172, had marched 66 yards on 10 plays on their opening drive to take a 6-0 lead. Davis' 2-yard touchdown run was set up by a 46-yard run by David Bazemore (12 carries for 92 yards).
Scarborough's 34-yard run for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter made it 12-0.
Overlea answered with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Matt Davis to James Holley and pulled within 12-8 on the two-point conversion pass from Davis to Kwame Koomson.
Matt Davis then connected with John Besche on a 36-yard touchdown pass with 1:32 left in the second quarter to give the Falcons a 14-12 halftime lead.