In its most recent games, come-from-behind victories over Charles County teams Thomas Stone and McDonough, South River was able to pull the proverbial rabbit from the hat for the Class 3A Region IV boys soccer title.
But in today's Class 3A state semifinal game against Howard County power Oakland Mills, Seahawks coach Greg Carroll likely will find a Scorpion and could get stung with a loss.
Carroll has scouted the Scorpions (12-2) and knows very well what he's up against. Carroll said his team doesn't need any further motivation for today's 5 p.m. contest at Carroll County's South Carroll High, but he's no doubt going to try once more to reach into his bag of tricks.
"We're playing close to our peak, about as well as I can expect right now. But (today), we've just got to take it a step higher," said Carroll, whose team is reaching the state semifinals for the first time since winning the title in 1987.
If the Seahawks pull off a dramatic victory, it won't be the first time for their head coach, who is no stranger to drama.
Three years ago, Carroll's Seahawks won all four playoff games in overtime, including two in penalty kick shootouts, before they could claim the state title.
This year's version is led by forward Mike Doherty (six goals) and defender Chris Asher (four). Goalkeeper Kevin Collison has recorded four shutouts.
At their best this season, the Seahawks played to a scoreless tie with Class 4A semifinalist Broadneck. At their worst, the Seahawks dropped a 4-1 decision to Charles County's Lackey -- a team McDonough easily beat, 4-1, in the regional quarterfinals.
The Seahawks overcame McDonough and a 1-0 halftime deficit to win, 2-1, in last Friday's regional title game, after which Carroll joked "these guys are going to give me ulcers."
"(The Lackey game) was one of those times where we left our skills on the bus," said Carroll.
Carroll said midfielders Jim Chomas (three goals), Glenn Fueston and twins Ross and Todd Knode will need to turn up their games a notch to help keep pressure off of defenders Asher, David Dean, Ryan Dunn and Andy Moede.
And just how good is Oakland Mills?
"There were 28 different college scouts at our last game against Howard," said fifth-year coach Don Shea, who has led Oakland Mills to two county titles since 1986. "Duke, Virginia, Notre Dame, Penn State, University of Pennsylvania, JMU, Syracuse, Radford, Rider, Lafayette."
The Scorpions have won a state-best six state championships, including a tie with Woodward in Shea's first season. For their last state title in 1988, the Scorpions blanked Middletown, 3-0, in Class 2A.
The metro area's top-ranked team, the Scorpions have outscored their opponents, 49-6, with 10 shutouts.
Oakland Mills' only losses have come against the Washington area's top-ranked team, Prince George's County's Bowie (14-0) and last year's Howard County and Class 3A co-state champion Howard High.
Against Bowie, the Scorpions were without four starters. Three defenders were on a 15-day suspension for disciplinary reasons and the other, forward Malcolm Gillian, was out with an ankle injury.
With the return of those players, including Gillian (12 goals and five assists), the Scorpions avenged their loss to Howard with a first-round playoff victory. The Scorps also own a 3-0 victory over Kennedy, which tied Howard for last year's Class 3A state title.
Also with 12 goals is senior midfielder/defender Clint Peay, a Parade All-American and an under-17 national team member.
Junior forward Lopaka Trout (nine goals) and senior defender Ryan Burke (seven) are the other top scorers for Oakland Mills.
"We know what we're up against with Oakland Mills," said Carroll. "We're going to have to play well defensively and equally well in the midfield to keep their goal production down. If we don't, then we're going to be in for trouble."
Kennedy (7-5-2) will play Baltimore County's Franklin (11-1) in the other Class 3A regional semifinal.