The best season in Old Mill history was ended last night by Wootton, which built a two-touchdown halftime lead and held off the host Patriots, 17-7, in a state 4A quarterfinal.
Fifth-seeded Wootton (11-0) dodged a major bullet when normally reliable Old Mill kicker Steve Oliver missed a 26-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter.
The Patriots then needed just two plays to score on their fourth possession, with Ed Reilly snaring a 19-yard pass from quarterback Mike Mehok before Messay Hailemariam burst 34 yards down the left sideline to score.
Mehok's 8-yard screen pass to Shawn Thomas 11 seconds before halftime increased the margin to 14-0.
Fourth-seeded Old Mill (9-2) played much better in the second half, but could manage only Eric Scott's 20-yard touchdown pass to Brian Jones with 9 minutes, 40 seconds to play.
Wootton then countered with a seven-play, 65-yard drive, capped by Geoff Pearce's 32-yard field goal with 6:13 left.
"We saw big-time people playing in there and tried to spread them out a bit," said Wootton coach Bob Hampton, who used misdirection plays to total much of the Patriots' 156 rushing yards.
"We know that we beat a very good football team tonight. Thankfully, a couple of their people were hurt," Hampton said.
Foremost among the Old Mill injured players was William Beverly, a running back who has scored 20 touchdowns and who removed himself from the game at halftime after strained ligaments in his ankle proved too much. Beverly ran eight times for 34 yards in the first half.
"It's tough when your leading ball carrier isn't out there, but William just couldn't go," said Old Mill coach Pete Regala. "He came to me at halftime and let me know. He's the kind of kid who won't hurt the team.
"This is a tough loss. We hoped to go a lot further -- the team wasn't satisfied with just making the playoffs -- but we were beaten by a fine team with a lot of quickness."