With its offense largely ineffective, 10th-ranked Old Mill used big defensive plays to remain undefeated at the expense of visiting and No. 16 South River (1-1) last night.
Third-quarter interceptions by Troy Queen and Tim Newby made the difference in a 14-0 victory that keeps the Patriots (2-0) on track heading into Friday's Anne Arundel County 4A League showdown at Severna Park.
Queen gave Old Mill all the points it would need when he stepped in front of Jake Cameron's pass at the Old Mill 35.
Queen veered back to the left, then picked up blockers as he raced 65 yards down the left sideline to score with 7 minutes, 31 seconds left in the third quarter.
"The offense just couldn't get it together tonight, so we [the defense] just got together and did it for both sides of the line," said Queen, who later intercepted another Cameron pass.
Newby's interception and return to the South River 9 set up Harold Peters' 9-yard touchdown run that made the lead 14-0 with 2:14 to play in the third quarter.
Old Mill also had second-half fumble recoveries from Queen, Austin Johnson, John Bussey, Taray Rollins and Frank Harris to keep 16th-ranked South River at bay.
Old Mill managed just 125 yards total offense. The Patriots did not cross midfield after the start of the second quarter.
"We had some penalties that hurt us, but South River played a nice defensive game," said Old Mill coach Pete Regala. "There were some guys in our line that did well, and I thought the offense got it together when we scored after the [Newby] interception."
South River coach Dave Summey pointed to the second-half turnovers. The losers were also hurt by 95 yards in penalties.
On its first possession, South River drove to a first down at the Old Mill 5. But three plays picked up only 2 yards before William Reese stacked up Kevin Ferguson on a fourth-down plunge.
Old Mill's deepest penetration of the half was to the Seahawks' 33. There, South River's Edmund Hicks stopped Beverly one yard short of a first down.