Not only were the Severn Admirals playing for an opportunity to share the eight-team Maryland Scholastic Association's C Conference football title, they were playing St. Mary's.
St. Mary's was not only playing for a chance to win its first outright conference title, it was up against Severn.
For these two teams, that's all that needs to be said.
Senior flanker Brendan Haggerty's 6-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Kyong So with 4:45 remaining helped the Admirals score a narrow upset over visiting archrival St. Mary's, 7-6, at Lynch Field Saturday afternoon.
Haggerty's fourth catch (45 yards) of the day, dubbed the "biggest catch of the season" by Severn head coach Doug Williams, capped a 10-play, 76-yard march that lasted more than four minutes. So booted the game-clinching extra point.
"I'll tell you, I wasn't sure if we were going to make it or not," Williams said. "Once we got down inside the five, we didn't want to run it up the middle. We tried the left side and then the right side. Finally, we just had to go over the top. Kyong (4 for 8, 45 yards) just made the best pass of his career."
During the pivotal drive, Daniel Wu (17 carries for 136 yards) picked up 31 yards on four carries, while junior fullback Randy Morse put the Admirals in first-and-goal territory at the 4 with an 11-yard bolt up the middle.
'I think we did a good job against Wu," St. Mary's head coach Brad Best said. "He's just a great back. But I felt the key today was to get to their quarterback. We trapped him a couple times, but he burned us twice in the fourth quarter when we blitzed our linebackers toward the inside."
St. Mary's, (8-2, 6-1 conference) will finish the season with no less than a three-way tie for first place, along with St. Paul's and Severn, provided the Admirals defeat Southwestern of Baltimore City next Saturday.
The Saints jumped out on top, 6-0, when 5-foot-5 halfback Kevin Kurpinsky galloped 64 yards on a counter play down the left sideline. The point-after attempt failed when holder Charlie Finamore was tackled after a bad snap.
"This was a tough way to end the year," Best said. "Every time we'd get something going, someone would either miss an assignment or we'd get a penalty that would hurt us. But I told my players to keep their heads up, we still have a share of the title, something we've never done here at St.
After a 42-yard pass completion from Charles Griffith to Charlie Finamore moved the ball up to midfield with 3:16 remaining, the Saints' last-ditch attempt to take the lead was foiled when Admiral defensive tackle Drew Bauer fell on a Joe Conte fumble at midfield.
The Admirals (7-2, 5-1 conference) squandered an earlier chance to take the lead late in the first quarter when Saints defensive tackle Rory Kiernan recovered a Wu fumble on the St. Mary's 15. During the drive, the smaller but quicker Severn offensive line made it known that it would not be intimidated in the trenches.
"I thought we'd wear down by the end of the third quarter," Williams said. "They outweighed us by almost 100 pounds a man on the line. But we gave it 100 percent out there today." The seven-year coaching veteran knew that his team needed no prodding to get ready for their rivals from Annapolis, but a possible share of the conference title seemed to be just as important to Williams and his charges.
"We knew going into the today's game that this was it. If we don't win today, we can hang it (the MSA crown) up. With this game being a big rivalry and all, it just feels great. But you can't take anything from St.
Mary's, they hung in there until the end. And I know that as good as I feel, they feel just as terrible."