In its bid to win a second straight county title, C. Milton Wright'sfootball team faces one more real threat -- Joppatowne on Thursday.
The Mariners appear to be the only team with a reasonable chance to knock the unbeaten Mustangs from atop the county standings in the final weeks of the season.
The Mustangs (6-0 overall, 5-0 league) were scheduled to play John Carroll (3-3, 2-2) yesterday. Their remaining games are at Joppatowne (5-1, 3-1) Thursday and at Fallston (1-5, 1-4) in two weeks.
The Mustangs would probably have to stay undefeated to win the county title outright since Joppatowne and Aberdeen have only one loss each.
Joppatowne suffered its first loss a week ago to Aberdeen, 12-6. The Eagles (5-1, 4-1) dropped their only game earlier in the season toC. Milton Wright.
The showdown between the Mustangs and Joppatowne will kick off Thursday night at 7 at C. Milton Wright.
At this time a year ago, the Mustangs were poised in similar fashion atop the Harford County league. A 21-0 victory over Joppatowne in the season finale wrapped up the Mustangs' first undefeated season in school history.
This year, the battle could be a lot tougher.
The difference in last year's game was a tough Mustangs' defense. Wright's defense is allowing just 7.7 points per game, but the Mariners have been tough on defense too.
After the Aberdeen game, the Mariners had the best defensive statistics in the metro area. They had allowed just 3.5 points a game, or a total of 21 points the entire season.
Joppatowne's defense proved tough against the Eagles, and Demont Blackmon, who leads the league in points scored. The senior halfback, who has amassed more than 850 yards as a rusher and receiver, came into the game averaging three touchdowns per game. He got only one against the Mariners.
Vernon Wingfield scored the only touchdown for the Mariners early in the second half to tie the score at 6-6.
Bill Hadrys made a couple of big plays on defense, blocking both of Edgewood's extra point attempts.
The Mariners will need another stellar defensive effort if they hope to beat the Mustangs.
The game will pit the No. 1 defense in the metro area against the No. 1 offense. C. Milton Wright has averaged 41.7 points per game.
A week ago, the Mustangsdealt Edgewood a 39-22 loss. In a game marked by big plays, the Ramsstayed close until the fourth quarter.
Brad Fordyce ran an interception back for a 60-yard touchdown, and Mike Wiechert added the PAT to put the Mustangs up, 26-22, late in the third quarter. The Rams never led again.
The Mustangs will be finished with their most difficult competition after the Joppatowne game. But the Mariners still have to face Edgewood in the season finale Nov. 8.