Patriots stun in 15-14 victory
No. 4 Old Mill edges No. 5 Annapolis, finishes regular season with 10-0 mark
It was looking like it just wasn’t going to be Old Mill’s night Friday.
But after watching drive after drive stall in their meeting with Annapolis, the No. 4 Patriots scored 15 points in the final 13:17and stunned the No. 5 Panthers, 15-14, in the first game in Anne Arundel County between 9-0 teams in at least 42 years.
Blaise Fisher hit Jacori Cannon for a 56-yard touchdown pass with 3:17 left and Brian Morris’ extra point made the difference in Old Mill’s 28th straight regularseason victory.
Old Mill (10-0) won its second straight county championship, clinched the top seed in the Class 4A East playoffs and will host a first-round playoff game Friday, most likely against Broadneck.
The official final point standings and playoff schedule will be announced Sunday after a seeding meeting.
The Patriots are the third team in as many seasons that finished unbeaten during the regular season. The teams that went unbeaten in the regular season the past two years failed to make it out of the region.
“I always talk about how there are so Old Mill’s Aaron Dawson celebrates with his teammates after defeating Annapolis. The Patriots won their second straight county crown and will host a playoff game Friday. many ways to win a football game,” Old Mill coach Chad McCormick said. “We had some big opportunities that came up in the special teams area that catapulted us.”
The Patriots trailed 14-0 late in the third quarter and turned the ball over when Daquan Dickens intercepted Fisher at the Annapolis 37. After the Panthers failed to get a first down, they lined up to punt, but the snap sailed over the head of Carl Tucker and near the goal line. Tucker wisely kicked the ball out of the end zone for a safety that made the score 14-2 with 1:17 left in the third.
The Patriots weren’t able to take advantage of the good field position after the free kick and turned the ball over on downs early in the fourth.
Justin Williams hit Trey Gross for a 31-yard gain to the Old Mill 45, but the Patriots forced a fumble and Cannon recovered to give the Patriots new life.
Four straight Old Mill incompletions turned the ball back over to the Panthers, who once again were forced to punt. The snap again sailed over the head of Tucker, and the Patriots took over at the Annapolis 17. Sirus Gay ran for 15 yards to the 2, then punched the ball in the next play to cut the lead to 14-8 with 7:39 left.
“We do a lot in our practices for different scenarios that could arise,” McCormick said. “Credit to our guys for understanding how to stay mind-focused in a game.”
Annapolis moved to the Old Mill 38 on its next possession and decided to go for a first down on a fourth-and-8 from the Old Mill 38, but Aaron Dawson came from the blind side and sacked Williams to turn the ball over to the Patriots with 4:31 to go.
After a pair of runs, Fisher found Cannon streaking down the middle of the field for the tying score, followed by Morris’ deciding extra point.