For many years Mount Hebron's boys soccer team has longed for respect from its more established county opponents.
After yesterday's 6-3 thrashing of No. 9 Howard, the Vikings may get that respect.
Last season Howard (5-3, 0-3) trounced Mount Hebron, 8-0. Two years ago, Howard beat the Vikings, 5-0.
"We wanted revenge for last year," Mount Hebron goalkeeper Shane Ardo said.
"And we didn't think this was an upset."
The Vikings already had defeated Atholton, 1-0, and taken No. 14 Oakland Mills into overtime before losing, 1-0.
"I told the kids not to worry about reputations but to concentrate on what goes on between the yellow lines," Mount Hebron coach Kevin Good said.
"Our plan was to get behind Mike Green [Howard's sweeper] and get one-on-one with their fullbacks. They are not speedy in back.
"We got the ball to the right people at the right time, and I think their goalkeeper, who is usually good, had a bad day."
Although unranked, Mount Hebron (6-2, 2-1) thoroughly outplayed the Lions from start to finish.
It never trailed and went ahead 4-1 in the 61st minute, when Gordon Overbey scored off an assist from Pat Halter.
Overbey scored twice and had one assist. Halter and Brian Slater each had a goal and an assist. And Tim Deppen and Mike Stromberg each scored once.
Stromberg scored on a penalty kick in the 20th minute. Howard tied it 1-1 on a goal by Green. Mount Hebron scored the next three goals, however.
Howard made it 4-2 on a penalty kick by Chris Dodson.
Deppen's goal, in the 70th minute, made it 5-2 and ended Howard's comeback hopes. He turned the left corner, kicked the ball off the chest of a Howard defender, recovered the ball and poked it with his toe past a diving goalkeeper.
"Our defense has played well all season, but this was a breakthrough game for our offense," said Ardo, who made 10 saves. "And this was a once-in-a-lifetime game for me -- the best I've played this season."
Good said: "Shane made two big saves for us."
Howard's team was shocked by the result.
"We knew Mount Hebron was the most improved team in the county," Howard coach Dave Kelley said. "Mount Hebron played a good game, worked hard and was deserving. We underestimated them and were not ready to play."