Dalys Talley's first and last passes of the game were spectacular ones for the Joppatowne Mariners last night.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound quarterback threw for touchdowns - one on the Mariners' first play from scrimmage and the other on their last - to upset visiting Fallston, 15-11.
Talley's first touchdown toss went for 67 yards to tight end Dave Brown. He threw for the two-point conversion to D'Angelo Goffigan to take an 8-0 lead before the game clock had ticked off 30 seconds.
His second scoring bomb came in the final half-minute, two plays after Fallston appeared to have sewn up a victory on Kevin Keller's 30-yard field goal with 59 seconds remaining.
On Joppatowne's last possession, Talley scrambled to escape from a pack of tacklers and raced 27 yards to the Fallston 32-yard line. On the next play, he threw long to George Smith, who fought a defender for the ball at the 3 and stepped into the end zone for the score.
"We were thinking field goal to tie," said Joppatowne head coach Greg Komondor. "But coach [Bill] Waible said let's go for it. I said all right, and he [Talley] put it right in the basket to George Smith."
Smith came up with three big plays for the Mariners, intercepting two passes. The game, between Harford County's early-season leaders, was expected to be a high scoring one. But defenses dominated through the third quarter.
Joppatowne's line, led by James Murray (260 pounds) and his step-brother Phil Tillman (310 pounds), contained Fallston running back Dave Gonano for most of the game.
Gonano broke away for an apparent 85-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter, but the touchdown was nullified by a clipping penalty.
The Mariners were without the services of Bryant Jones, their top running back, a 1,200-yard rusher last season. Jones, who reinjured a knee earlier in the week, suited up but did not play.
Fallston tied the game with 5 minutes left in the first half. Steve Shaw got the Cougars moving with a 32-yard punt return to the Joppatowne 28 midway through the second quarter. Two carries by Gonano advanced the Cougars to a first down at the 12. Dan Ramos ran the ball to the 1 before Tom Schruefer scored over the left side with 4:56 remaining in the half.
Quarterback Jake Kuzma scored on a rollout to the left side to make it 8-8.