Mike Holley rushed for 71 yards and two touchdowns and Carson Nickel had 17 tackles and six sacks as Atholton ended a 13-game losing streak with Saturday's 13-7 victory at Mount Hebron.
The visiting Raiders (1-3 overall, 1-2 league), who had been outscored, 99-14, with two shutouts entering the game, never trailed the Vikings (1-3, 0-3).
"I thought we had a chance against them, and, in fact, was planning on winning this game," Atholton second-year coach Chuck Fales said. "We kept taking cracks at it and finally broke the egg."
Hard-fought in Harford
Friday night's four Harford County League openers produced three come-from-behind wins and a relative shocker.
In two rain-hampered games, Aberdeen edged C. Milton Wright, 27-24, in overtime, and Havre de Grace surprised Bel Air, 21-7. Also, defending county champ Joppatowne edged Fallston, 15-10, and Edgewood nipped North Harford, 8-7.
"None of these scores surprises me," said Joppatowne coach Greg Komondor, whose fifth-ranked Mariners improved to 4-0 overall, 1-0 in the county. "I believe it's going to be like this all year."
For Aberdeen (3-0, 1-0), quarterback-linebacker Erin Henderson rushed for a touchdown and threw for another to Dejan Brown. Jeremiah Barnes' 4-yard run sent the game into overtime, and Carl Stokes rushed for the winning 10-yarder to top the Mustangs (0-4, 0-1).
Mike Perez thwarted a C. Milton Wright scoring chance with an interception at the goal line as regulation ended.
For Havre de Grace (2-2, 1-0), quarterback Shane West returned from a preseason knee injury and flourished in his first game of the season at Bel Air (1-3, 0-1).
The junior threw for more than 200 yards and had scoring passes to Richard Simpson of 77 and 45 yards, along with a 25-yarder to Richard Johnson.
West also is the team's punter and place-kicker, "and without him, we're a different team," fifth-year coach John Brooks said. "If we had him against Bo Manor [a 27-16 loss,] I think we win that game."
At Edgewood, the Rams (3-1, 1-0) faced a third-quarter, 7-0 deficit before a safety and Mike Cooper's game-winning 6-yard run helped them to rebound from last week's 10-7 loss to Cecil County power Elkton. North Harford slipped to 2-2, 0-1.
After scoring just once in three previous games, Meade's Hassan Muhammad II rushed for three touchdowns and returned a fumble for a fourth in Friday night's 26-0 shutout of Glen Burnie. Muhammad transferred from Cardinal Gibbons, where he holds several scoring records.
Lake Clifton, of coach James Monroe, has won three straight since losing its nonleague season opener, 16-8, to Carver of Baltimore City.
On Friday afternoon, the Lakers (3-1) scored a nonleague 10-0 shutout of traditional power City College (3-1), a team that entered the game averaging more than 24 points.
Scott Middleton threw his eighth and ninth touchdown passes of the year, and J.L. Feeley had his fifth and sixth touchdown receptions as Centennial (3-1) won its third straight game, 21-0, over Hickey.