Quince Orchard vs. Old Mill
Maryland Class 4A State Championship
December 2, 2011
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
Winner: Old Mill
Score: 36-35 (OT)
-Old Mill overcame 21-0 deficit
-Rob Chesson successfully ran for a two-point conversion in overtime to win game
-Mark Green (Quince Orchard) rushed for 217 yards on 42 carries with three touchdowns
-Torie Wagner made five catches for 137 yards, scored a 23-yard touchdown on a fumble recovery, and intercepted a pass late in 4th quarter to stifle possible game-winning Quince Orchard drive
-Old Mill wins their second 4A title in three years by one point (17-16 over Henry A. Wise in 2009)
|Old Mill||Deonte Shields||8-15||160||3|
|Q. Orchard||Billy Plante||6-14||87||2||1|
|Q. Orchard||Mark Green||42||217||3||5.2|
|Old Mill||Rob Chesson||25||152||1||6.1|
|Old Mill||Torie Wagner||5||137||1||27.4|
|Q. Orchard||Tyrell Williams||4||64||1||21.3|
|Old Mill||Carl Chance||1||70||1||70.0|
|Q. Orchard||D’Andre Johnson||1||25||25.0|
|Old Mill||Ryan Kauffman||1||20||20.0|
|Old Mill||Devon Salisbury||1||6||1||5.0|
|Q. Orchard||Marty Heyn||1||2||1||2.0|
|Old Mill||Brady Hannon||0/1||4/4|
|Q. Orchard||Chris McPherson||5/5|
QO- Green 1 run (McPherson kick)
QO- Heyn 2 pass from Plante (McPherson kick)
QO- Green 5 run (McPherson kick)
OM- Salisbury 6 pass from Shields (Hannon kick)
OM- Wagner 23 fumble return (Hannon kick)
QO- Green 2 run (McPherson kick)
OM- Wagner 64 pass from Shields (Hannon kick)
OM- Chance 70 pass from Shields (Hannon kick)
QO- Williams 7 pass from Plante (McPherson kick)
OM- Shields 1 run (Chesson run)
In what turned out to be arguably the best high school football game in Maryland this year, the Old Mill Patriots of Anne Arundel County pulled off an improbable comeback victory over the Quince Orchard Cougars of Montgomery County, coming back from a 21-point deficit to win by a score of 36-35.
The first half was dominated by Quince Orchard, as Old Mill could only scratch out seven points, scoring a touchdown in the final minute of the half. On the opening kickoff of the second half, Torie Wagner made the first of several great plays in the half, recovering a Quince Orchard fumble and returning it 23 yards for a touchdown. Being that the touchdown reduced the Cougars’ lead to 21-14, Old Mill head coach Brad McCormick said that the fumble recovery was the turning point in the game.
After the teams traded touchdowns (one coming by way of a 64-yard scoring reception from Wagner), Quince Orchard still held a 28-21 lead going into the last minute of regulation. With 42 seconds remaining and trailing by a touchdown, Patriots quarterback Deonte Shields lofted an ill-advised, wobbly pass in the general direction of receiver Carl Chance. Chance, blanketed by double coverage on the play, made a seemingly impossible catch, pulling the ball down over two defenders, and racing towards the end zone as his two opponents fell helplessly to the ground. As he reached the end zone however, Chance pumped his fist in the air before scoring, leading to what can only be described as a very questionable penalty for excessive celebration.
After the flag, sophomore kicker Brady Hannon was successful in kicking a difficult 30-yard extra point attempt. With the score now deadlocked at 28, Quince Orchard’s attempt at winning the game in regulation was shot down by Wagner, who intercepted an errant pass from Billy Plante, returning it 33 yards to the Cougars’ 35-yard line. A late hit penalty pushed the ball up to the 20-yard line. Following a 13-yard completion from Shields to Wagner, Hannon was unable to make a 25-yard field goal attempt with seven seconds remaining, missing the kick wide right by a matter of mere inches.
Still tied at 28, the game went into overtime, with Old Mill winning the toss and electing to play defense first. Quince Orchard scored on a 7-yard pass from Plante to fullback Tyrell Williams, and the extra point gave the Cougars a 35-28 lead. The Patriots responded with a touchdown on a quarterback sneak by Shields, making the score 35-34.
Initially sending out his extra point team, McCormick called a timeout, and sent the offense back on the field to attempt a two-point conversion, which would give his team the win and a state title. Rob Chesson, the Patriots’ running back who set the Maryland record for touchdowns in a single season (49) but had none in the state championship game, received a pitch from Shields, and dove across the goal line from two yards out. The conversion made the score 36-35, and Old Mill players stormed the field around
On sending his offense onto the field to attempt the game-winning two-point conversion, McCormick claimed that going for two gave his team the best chance to win.
“That decision was a tough one,” McCormick said, “…but it [would have been] tougher to go back out there for four downs against that defense.”
The state championship is Old Mill’s second in three seasons, after winning in 2009 by a score of 17-16 over Henry A. Wise.
I advise you to read the live blog I did during the game, as it captures the essence of how amazing the comeback was, and the frenzy that occurred in the last minute. The atmosphere both in the stands and in the press box was electric, and considering the stakes of the game, I’d venture to say it was the best high school football game I’ve ever seen. If not, it was certainly the most memorable.
There are three games on Saturday, the championships for the 1A, 2A, and 3A classes. Considered the “Pride of Baltimore”, Dunbar’s team will play in the 1A title at 12 p.m. against Cecil County surprise finalist Perryville. Follow me on Twitter for updates throughout the games, and let’s hope we’re in for some more wild and memorable games.