Last year, in the midst of a 1-9 season they rather would forget, the Pikesville Panthers lost to Milford Mill, 51-7.
Yesterday, the Panthers posted one of their most memorable football victories in school history, beating the visiting Millers, 8-0, in a Baltimore County 2A/1A League game and boosting their record to 4-0.
It was the first time since 1979 that Pikesville had beaten Milford Mill (1-3). The Millers had allowed just seven points in the past four meetings with the Panthers, dating to 1986.
"Milford shelled us just about every year in the '80s," Pikesville coach Curt Boushell said. "Man, I'm glad to be in the '90s. Today, we made our own breaks."
Senior Phil Efron created several breaks for Pikesville on defense. He helped lead a goal-line defense that stopped Milford Mill on two possessions inside the 5-yard line.
Efron also got Pikesville on the scoreboard. With 5 minutes, 44 seconds left in the second quarter, he sacked the Millers' Kevin Jackson in the end zone for a safety, giving Pikesville a 2-0 lead.
After Milford Mill's ensuing kickoff, the Panthers drove 41 yards in three plays to score again. Vernon Logan, who had nine carries for 56 yards, ran for 5 yards, and Jon McCarthy (18 carries, 78 yards), rushed for 13 to the Millers' 23.
An offsides penalty moved the ball to the 18 before Jay Glickson hit Mick Berlin in the far corner of the end zone to give Pikesville an 8-0 lead.
The Panthers then held on defense. With Milford Mill on Pikesville's 2-yard line late in the third quarter, the Panthers' Jason Shvets stopped Alvin Booze on fourth down, driving him back to the 6.
On the Millers' next possession, Shvets hit Jackson as he handed off to Jeffery Carroll, causing Carroll to fumble. The ball was recovered at the 3 by Pikesville's Judd Handler.
"It was our offense that hurt," first-year Milford Mill coach Chuck vTC Weitz said. "We drove it to the 3 and the 2 and couldn't score. There's no excuses -- we just made mistakes."
Pikesville's 4-0 start is its best. In 1986, the Panthers won their first three en route to an 8-2 record -- the best in school history.
"They say we're not for real because we've gone 3-17 over the past two years and haven't played anybody this year," Boushell said. "If you look over the last four seasons, we're a .500 team [22-22]. I think we're proving how competitive we really are."