CUMBERLAND -- Allegany coach Jack Gilmore says his team sometimes travels as far as 200 miles to find opponents. That's because nobody in town is eager to tangle with the Campers.
Last night, in a Class 2A state quarterfinal game at Fort Hill, Oakland Mills found out why.
Allegany, ranked 12th in the state by the Associated Press, scored twice in the fourth quarter en route to a 21-7 win before an estimated crowd of 5,000.
Though the seventh-seeded Scorpions held their own for most of the game, a pair of second-half turnovers cost them dearly.
"I think our kids played hard," said Oakland Mills coach Ken Klock. "It's just our kids didn't get the breaks and they did."
Those breaks came in the form of a pair of key second-half Oakland Mills fumbles.
The first came late in the third quarter, when running back Akil Benjamin lost the handle after taking a hit from the Campers' Dan Bouer and Scott McGann recovered at the Scorpions' 26. Six plays later, McGann scored from a yard out to make it 14-7.
Then, after driving to Allegany's 37 on their next possession, the Scorpions, again, fumbled the ball away when quarterback Antwan Baker mishandled a snap.
On the very next play, Milburn (20 carries, 138 yards) ran 62 yards off tackle to increase the Campers' lead to 21-7.
"They were blitzing from the middle all night, and I think our center was a little nervous," said quarterback Antwan Baker of the fumble. "He snapped the ball before I got my hands on it. I thought that was the key play of the game."
Said Gilmore: "They had a bad time with their snaps all night, and I attribute that to the hard play of our center, Vernon Stottlemeyer. But Oakland Mills was tough, and probably the toughest team we've played all year."
Allegany out-gained Oakland Mills by only a 221-174 count. The big blow for the Scorpions, however, came near the end of the first half when leading rusher Monte Spencer left the game with an injury.
He carried the ball just once in the second half, and gained just 41 yards on eight carries for the game.