Kelvin Collins was the man as No. 9 Old Mill outlasted No. 7 Annapolis, 38-28, in the Anne Arundel County season opener for both last night at Bob Golliday Stadium in Millersville.
The game matched two teams looking to return to postseason play, Annapolis in Class 3A, Old Mill in 4A.
Collins, a returning All-County running back, was clearly the difference as Old Mill defeated the visitors for the first time since 1996.
Collins, a 6-foot, 195-pound senior who also played defensive back and ran back kicks, scored five touchdowns and gained 242 yards on 32 carries. The speedy Patriot ran inside and outside, and despite hardly coming off the field, never ran out of gas, ripping 142 of his yards in the second half.
"We were a little leery about Kelvin going both ways, because last year, he only played four plays on defense in the North County game," said Old Mill coach Mike Marcus.
Then he added: "But this shows he is a legit player, works hard, and has a nice supporting cast."
Collins' fifth touchdown was set up by Isaac Land's fumble recovery on an Old Mill punt at the Annapolis six.
Collins drove in on the first play with 2:34 remaining to seal the victory. The final Collins six-pointer gave Old Mill a 38-22 lead after Seth Keil's fifth straight extra-point kick.
Keil also kicked a 22-yard field goal with 8:50 left to make it 31-22 in favor of Old Mill before Collins all but put the game out of reach.
"Collins is a great back, cuts on the run, is strong, breaks tackles. We knew that coming in," said Annapolis coach Roy Brown, who received his warning a year ago in his Panthers' 41-34 season-opening victory over Old Mill at Annapolis despite three touchdowns and 128 yards rushing by Collins.
"It was a great individual effort [last night]. He did a great job against us last year."
Collins gained 96 of his yards and scored three of his touchdowns in the first half on runs of 5, 33 and 7 yards to send the home team to the break with a 21-8 lead.
His third touchdown came after the Panthers had cut the lead to 14-8 on a 3-yard plunge by Davon Watkins, who left at the half with a concussion.
A 68-yard burst by the Panthers' Eric Venerable, who led his team with 141 yards on 16 attempts, set up his team's first touchdown early in the second period.
The Panthers faked the extra point kick, and quarterback/holder Charlie Dammeyer's toss to Camaro Henson in the right corner of the end zone was good for two points.
After the teams exchanged possessions, Old Mill took advantage of an Adam Dayton fumble recovery at the Annapolis 45.
Ten plays later, Collins knifed in on a counter play, and Keil's kick with 1:10 left in the half gave the Patriots the 13-point lead at intermission.
Kevin Jones blocked a punt for Annapolis with 42 seconds left in the third period, and Delray Johnson fell on it in the end zone for an Annapolis touchdown, making it a 28-22 game going into the last eight minutes.