For the second straight year, Old Mill has been dealt an immediate exit from the state Class 4A football playoffs.
The second-seeded Patriots, who entered with some key injuries and the reverse momentum of an upset loss to Glen Burnie in their regular-season finale, fell to visiting and No. 7 Largo, 14-3, last night.
The Lions (9-2) had touchdown runs of 5 and 2 yards from Eric Cariaga, Prince George's County's third-leading rusher with 1,500 yards this season. But he otherwise was held in check by a Patriots defense that played well.
Nose guard Billy Reese and linebackers John Bliss and Darian George were instrumental in rationing Cariaga to 113 yards on 27 carries -- with 25 of the yards on a meaningless carry with seconds left.
As a team, Largo was held to 149 yards rushing (less than Cariaga's per-game average for the season) and 240 total.
But Old Mill (8-3) squandered repeated opportunities, and cashed in only on Steve Oliver's 38-yard field goal midway through the third quarter.
"Missed opportunities, turnovers [three] and penalties really hurt us," said Patriots coach Pete Regala, whose team also was ousted in the 1990 quarterfinals -- by Wootton, 17-7.
"The defense played well. They [Largo] only scored 14 points. We moved the ball, but just couldn't get it in," Regala said. "It's a shame, but the kids tried hard -- maybe a bit too hard tonight -- and we had a great season."
Old Mill came away empty-handed on drives to Largo's 26-, 28-, 31- and 20-yard lines. Interceptions by Adrian Calame and Bob Carson stopped two of the possessions, and the others ended with sacks of Old Mill's Tim Newby.
"I think they're bigger and faster than teams around here. They're like a Severna Park with speed," said Newby, who was sacked four times for minus-28 yards.
Calame said his team did not have that much of a physical advantage.
"Compared to P.G. teams, Old Mill is the same. They're high school kids who come out here and play good, hard football," he said. "Tonight, maybe we just executed a little better."