Something wasn't quite right Friday evening at Old Mill. And not just because the football field still had faded chalk lines.
That merely was an inconvenience, a test of one's vision and patience.
No, it's what transpired on Bob Golliday Memorial Field that warranted a closer look.
First, there was the sight of an Annapolis quarterback passing on first down from his own 1-yard line, and again on fourth-and-1. What's next, the run-and-shoot?
And stranger yet, the Old Mill players weren't hanging their heads after the game, as had been the scenario the past six years.
Instead, some were jumping up and down, while others removed their jerseys and danced.
The Patriots hadn't beaten Annapolis since 1983, Pete Regala's first year as Old Mill coach. But they did so Friday, pulling away with two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 28-0 victory.
Afterward, Regala almost was too emotional to speak, but he managed to do so, and his first words centered on Old Mill's reputation for not being able to beat the elite teams in the 4A League.
A 21-13 loss to Severna Park last week did nothing to change that, but he hopes the latest outcome has.
"I guess now you can mention us in the same breath, right?" he asked. "We lost last week, but we felt we were a lot better. We were out to prove (Friday) that we were a lot better. I think this is a good start right here."
Old Mill senior running back William Beverly had something to prove as well -- on a personal level. He wants the same respect Annapolis running back Ahmed Middleton has gained throughout the county.
Mission accomplished. While Middleton was being limited to 19 yards on four carries while missing most of the game with an injured groin muscle, Beverly was running for 94 yards, passing for another 34 and scoring two touchdowns.
"I was determined because Mr. Middleton down there gets a lot of publicity," Beverly said. "Not to take anything away from him, but I think I belong in the same breath as him. One of my main goals was to show I could play just as hard as anybody else."
Beverly scored on a pair of 2-yard runs. His first touchdown, with 34 seconds left in the opening quarter, staked Old Mill to a 6-0 halftime lead. Junior Harold Peters scored from 4 yards out with 7:16 remaining in the third quarter, and junior Melvin Carter burst up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown late in the game after an Annapolis fumble.
The loss was the Panthers' third this year, and first in the 4A League after a 7-3 victory last week over Arundel. Old Mill is 3-1 overall, 1-1 in the league.
The hosts out-gained Annapolis, 233-128, limiting the Panthers to minus-four yards in the third quarter.
The Old Mill defense registered its third shutout in four games. Regala inserted his starting unit in the final minute, with Annapolis driving, to assure the feat.
"We wanted a shutout. That's the name of the game," he said. "We played a good game. We deserved it."
Panthers coach Roy Brown wasn't arguing.
"They basically outplayed us tonight," he said. "I thought we played tough, but their defense was the difference in the game. They were better than us tonight.
"We're still in the race for the county (championship), and that's one of our goals. That's attainable."
Old Mill senior quarterback Eric Scott was 4-of-7 for 80 yards. He also completed a 2-point conversion pass to Ernie Longazell. His counterpart, senior Darryl Foote, completed three passes for 48 yards -- all in the first half -- and threw one interception.