Perhaps no finalist in the state football playoffs has more overlooked and undersized players than C. Milton Wright.
The Mustangs ran down visiting Oakland Mills in overtime, 13-7, in Friday night's state semifinals, played in a dense fog before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 3,000.
The Harford County hit squad next takes aim at McDonough of Charles County in Friday's Class 3A championship at Friendly in Prince George's County (7:30 p.m.).
McDonough held off Northern of Calvert County, 10-7, as Mike Laredo kicked a 40-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining.
Against Oakland Mills, the fifth-ranked Mustangs (12-0) probably benefited from the fog that descended over Bel Air just before kickoff.
For one thing, the fog blocked out the size of the much bigger Scorpions. In the first half, the white-shirted visitors standing along their sideline were invisible from the home-team sidelines.
The Mustangs were more visible in dark jerseys, but spectators farther than 150 feet from the action missed sophomore Chris Gill's 52-yard touchdown run that gave C.M. Wright the first-half lead.
Eighth-ranked Oakland Mills (10-2) scored in the fourth quarter as Joe Coughlan's passes to Gregg Washington set up Ricky Gray's 3-yard touchdown run. With more than 11 minutes remaining, Scorpions coach Ken Hovet chose to have Ty Wilkins kick the PAT for a 7-7 tie.
Then the Mustangs' undersized and overlooked heroes took over.
There was defensive lineman Jason Joines, who blocked a Wilkins 30-yard field goal attempt with 19 seconds left to force the overtime.
The fog was lifting as Oakland Mills took possession first in overtime at the 10-yard line, but attempts to convert winning passes to the 6-foot-6 Washington were thwarted by 5-6 Jesse Sostrin, a sophomore. Giving up a foot in height and perhaps 50 pounds, Sostrin purposely interfered to prevent the completions.
There also was linebacker Mike Whitehead. All in one motion, he batted down a Coughlan pass and intercepted it at the line of scrimmage.
Mustangs coach Steve Harward then called on his elephant backfield. Even the fog could not hide two-way tackle Daryl Smith lined up at fullback. The 6-0, 270-pound senior led tailback Ken Batten on two 5-yard bull charges.
"Daryl can play big-time," assistant coach Jerry Lee said of Smith, a 2.7 [4.0 scale] student who is taking three Certificate of Merit courses. "Nobody knows anything about him."
Most college recruiters know of Batten, who spun free on the game-winning score after Smith and lineman Chris Shue had cleared a path.
That elephant stampede did spoil the effort of the Scorpions' Washington, easily the most visible player on the field. He hauled in eight passes for 90 yards, mostly on short and medium routes over the middle.