By ground or by air, Chesapeake senior quarterback David DiSciullo just wanted to defeat Milford Mill.
"We hadn't beaten Milford in my four years here," DiSciullo said after leading the Bayhawks to a 20-15 victory over the Millers, "and I've been on the varsity team for three years."
Last season, the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder basically handed off in the simple option offense run by former Bayhawks coach Frank Ewing, who's now at Hereford.
"We've had some great runners at Chesapeake," said DiSciullo. "Thomas Whye carried us and I didn't have to do much except give him the ball."
All that changed when Ken Johnson shifted from Randallstown to Chesapeake to become chairman of the physical education department, taking over as football coach as well.
"There wasn't any one player to build around, so I came into summer practice looking to establish a balanced Wing-T offense," said Johnson, whose Bayhawks head into Thursday's date against Loch Raven with a 3-0 record. "It didn't take more than two practices to see that David could pass the football well and we had more than a handful who could catch it, too."
Johnson did not make wholesale changes, but he did move tackle Mike Ward (6-4, 200) to tight end, and he began letting DiSciullo show off his arm with play-action fakes.
"To develop a passing game, you first have to be able to run the ball," said Johnson. "We have had great balance [rushing] with Troy Penman, Ron Harge and Danny Treas. That has set up David's passing game."
Penman was especially effective against Milford on the guard trap, gaining chunks of yardage behind the blocking of Derek Ruby.
DiSciullo admitted that strategy clicked against Milford, the area's winningest team in the 1980s.
"I had four receivers to choose from," he said.
Saturday, if Ward was not open on a waggle route deep, Penman, Harge or Treas came free on swing screens to the outside.
Trailing 15-14 after three quarters, largely because of the heroics of Milford Mill's Bryant Lee (34 rushes for 133 yards and two touchdowns), Chesapeake's defense finally stopped the Millers at midfield and DiSciullo climaxed the winning drive with a 2-yard sneak.
Ruby anchored the defense, collecting his third interception of the season with a leaping one-handed grab.
"Every one of his interceptions has been a carbon copy of that one," said Johnson. "But I thought the defensive key was our containing Lee. I was scared he'd break loose every time he carried, but we never let him get away. Our ends, Treas and [Lamar] King, just played super defense against their wishbone."
King, 6-3, 200, is only a ninth-grader.
Chesapeake's junior varsity team also defeated Milford Mill, something it has not done in recent years.
"Numbers were way down last year, but we've got 27 on the junior varsity and all but three of those are ninth-graders," said Johnson.