Severn's boys lacrosse team had just been upset, 10-7, by Maryland Scholastic Association rival Mount St. Joseph, with only five games remaining in the regular season.
The Admirals, then 8-4 overall and 4-4 in division I of the MSA A conference, had no chance of catching unbeaten division leader St. Paul's. They also trailed Loyola by two games in the race for the last playoff spot.
With its next game against county rival St. Mary's, time was running out on Severn. Coach Rob White would need a heroic effort if his Admirals' campaign was to extend past the regular season.
Enter senior midfielder Milford Marchant, this year's Anne Arundel County Sun Player of the Year.
In the Admirals' 9-7 victory over the Saints April 25, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Marchant scored a team-high five goals and held a 12-6 edge in faceoffs, including eight of nine in the first half.
A 17-14 Severn loss to St. Paul's three days later tightened the noose. But two games later, Marchant scored four goals to lead the Admirals to a 13-7 victory over Loyola, a win that avenged an earlier 12-6 loss and secured a playoff berth for the Admirals.
He ended the season as a first-team All-Metro selection, winning 66 percent of his faceoffs and finished with 36 goals and 12 assists.
"Milford created everything for us," said Severn defender Duncan Slidell, a second-team All-County selection. "If he's not winning faceoffs, we don't win games -- that's the bottom line."
Winning a Class 4A-3A state championship was the bottom line for Broadneck coach Clay White, this year's Anne Arundel County Sun Coach of the Year.
But a few questions needed to be answered about the Bruins defense, where just one senior -- Thad Holsberg -- returned to join juniors Alex Irmler, Matt Konrad and goalie Sam Peterson, and sophomore Brian Dobson.
"Clay felt pretty good with [returning starter] Sam Peterson back there, but a couple of other things had to fall into place," said Broadneck athletic director Kevin McMullen.
White brought things together quickly. His Bruins whipped perennial power Annapolis, 7-3, in the season opener, followed by an 11-8 victory over Severna Park -- tabbed in the preseason as the team to beat.
White eventually coached the Bruins (15-2) to a 10-7 state championship victory over the three-time defending champion Dulaney Lions, who had turned back previous attempts by county teams Arundel, Annapolis and North County.
"We've always felt like Anne Arundel County has had the best public school lacrosse teams, top-to-bottom, in the state," said White, who is assisted by Jeff Herrick and Karl Behringer.
The Bruins took that pride into the state championship game, keyed by Irmler's shadowing of the Lions' top scorer, Brad Berzins (42 goals, 36 assists). He held Berzins to just two goals.
"I told Coach White that I was very intimidated, but he told me he wanted our best against their best," said Irmler, a first-team All-County selection. "He showed me what to do, and then proved to me that I could do it. He made me believe in myself.
"He also keeps after us to get good grades," Irmler said. "What he does for a lot of us goes beyond coaching."
Severn coach Rob White, who is not related to Clay, got a good look at Broadneck during the April 18 Al Laramore Lacrosse Classic. Setbacks against his Admirals, 8-2, and St. Mary's, 8-7, were the Bruins' only losses.
"That [Bruins] team could have played with the best," Rob White said. "Clay does a great job, and his kids are fortunate to be playing for him.
So did Marchant, who is headed for the Johns Hopkins. Yet he is the first to hand out compliments to teammates.
"A lot of my success has to go to the guys on the wings, Tom Muendel and Graydon Ripley," said Marchant. "And our defense played really well."
The Admirals (12-6) dropped a first-round playoff loss to MSA A runner-up Boys' Latin.
"It's the nature of his position that Milford had to play both ends of the field," his coach said. "He may have more potential than anyone we've ever had at Severn."
Marchant hopes to continue his success at Hopkins next spring.
"Winning is my No. 1 priority, whether it's as a role player or as a dominant starter," said Marchant.
"I want to be known as a winner."
All-County Boys Lacrosse Teams
Player .. .. .. .. .. ..School .. .. Year ..Position
Greg Jackson .. .. .. ..Broadneck .. senior attack
Bob Evans .. .. .. .. ..Severna Park senior attack
Jason Wade .. .. .. ....Severn .. .. senior attack
Andy Ross .. .. .. .. ..North County senior attack
Mike Crawford .. .. .. .Severna Park senior midfielder
Steve Bruso .. .. .. .. Broadneck .. senior midfielder
Chris Messineo .. .. .. South River .senior midfielder
Milford Marchant .. .. .Severn .. .. senior midfielder
Jason Moran .. .. .. .. Severn .. .. senior midfielder
Kevin Reichardt .. .. ..St. Mary's ..junior midfielder
Ben Andrew .. .. .. .. .Severn .. .. senior defender
Chris McQueeney .. .. ..Southern .. .senior defender
Alex Irmler .. .. .. .. Broadneck .. junior defender
Steve Gorski .. .. .. . Northeast .. senior goalkeeper
Player .. .. .. .. .. ..School .. .. Year ..Position
Jak Karl .. .. .. .. .. Annapolis .. senior attack
Greg Sabo .. .. .. .. ..North County junior attack
Andy Mocarsky .. .. .. .North County junior attack
Scott deGraffenreid .. .Severna Park senior attack
Mike Strohman .. .. .. .Broadneck .. senior attack
Matt Czoka .. .. .. .. .South River .senior attack
Shawn Moyer .. .. .. .. North County junior midfielder
Rob Tobin .. .. .. .. . St. Mary's ..senior midfielder
J.D. Gattie .. .. .. .. St. Mary's ..senior midfielder
Steve Spence .. .. .. ..Severna Park senior midfielder
Mike Ogden .. .. .. .. .Meade .. .. .junior midfielder
Thad Holsberg .. .. .. .Broadneck .. junior defender
Duncan Slidell .. .. .. Severn .. .. senior defender
Sam Peterson .. .. .. ..Broadneck . .junior goalkeeper
* Player of the Year: Milford Marchang (Severn)
* Coach of the Year: Clay White (Broadneck)