C. Milton Wright's answer to Fallston's powerful attack was possession, defense and just enough offense - basically nothing new in the No. 13-ranked Mustangs' fine regular season that added its biggest win last night.
Senior attack Joe Scanlon finished in close off a pinpoint look from senior midfielder Jeff Rominski with 4:23 left, giving the Mustangs a 7-6 win over visiting Fallston and the Harford County title.
The Mustangs (12-2, 6-0 in Harford County) outworked No. 10 Fallston (9-4, 5-1) most of the night, got a four-goal performance from junior Kevin Hershner and a collectively strong effort on defense.
But they could never build more than a two-goal lead and when Fallston's Chris Jans found space on the right side to tie the game at 6 with 5:27 left, one final answer was needed.
Just 15 seconds into a man-advantage situation, Rominski had possession up top when he zipped a pass in to Scanlon, who came open in front from behind the cage for the game-winner.
"It's a play we set up on extra-man play and it worked out, but this was a team effort," said Scanlon, who added two assists to go with the game-winner. "We possessed the ball better than we have all year. We knew we had to hold the ball as long as we could, our defense did its job and the offense put just enough in to get the win."
Last season, the Cougars came away with the Harford County crown, with C. Milton Wright having the final say with a win in the region playoffs. With the two schools no longer in the same classification, this is the only meeting between the two rivals.
"This is big," said C.M. Wright coach Andrew Gerard. "We shared it with Fallston two years ago, but it's been a long time since it's been all ours. Possession has been our key all year and Kevin Hershner did a great job. He scored some big goals - real crucial goals - and also got some big ground balls."
The Mustangs never trailed, but also could never build more than a two-goal lead despite dominating possession.
After taking the 7-6 lead, the Mustangs needed one more save from keeper Chris Petrush, his 12th of the game, with 3:55 left, turning back a shot from Steve Mull.
Matt Warfield scored three goals to lead Fallston, which also got a two-goal effort from Matt Bosse.