PERRYVILLE -- Milford Mill's run-and-shoot offense played a waiting game yesterday against host Perryville of Cecil County.
But when it came time to pull the trigger, the Millers were on target, rallying to defeat the Panthers, 8-7, in a state Class 1A quarterfinal game.
With the wind gusting and Milford Mill (8-3) unsure of Perryville's defensive scheme, coach Bob Greene waited to open up his offense.
"We wanted to get a feel and see if we could run the game," said Greene, in his first year as Milford Mill coach. "Then we had to go with what brought us here -- the run-and-shoot -- and you see the difference."
The next target for the fifth-seeded Millers will be top-seed and No. 2 Wilde Lake. The Wildecats, the defending 2A state champions, who moved to 1A this year, own the area's longest winning streak at 24.
For more than three quarters, it appeared Milford Mill would not get the opportunity. It was shut out until midway through the final period before putting together a six-play, 82-yard drive that was capped when Dennis Badham caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jerome Dennis with 6 minutes, 50 seconds remaining. The duo combined again for the conversion and the lead.
"It was really hard, especially in the first half," said Badham, who caught five passes for 93 yards in the second half, including a key catch of 45 during the drive. "At halftime, the coaches told me I was going to have a big second half."
In its previous drive, Milford Mill reached the hosts' 23, but Dennis (13-for-22, 199 yards) fumbled on a fourth-down run.
It was not Milford Mill's only mistake. With Perryville facing fourth-and-two from the 9, the Millers were penalized for delay of game, resulting in a first down and subsequent 4-yard touchdown run by Jason Ellis with 8:55 remaining in the first half.
Before the intermission, the Millers advanced to the 3 but couldn't get off a final play.