Linganore rally sends Oak. Mills home, 24-21 Down 21-0 in 4th, Lancers win on FG with :19 left

2A football

November 19, 1995|By Chuck Acquisto | Chuck Acquisto,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Long after the game's final horn sounded, a dozen Oakland Mills players lingered around their home field, stunned and teary-eyed.

After taking a 21-0 lead into the fourth quarter against visiting Linganore, the fifth-ranked Scorpions became victims of one of the greatest fourth-quarter comebacks in state playoff history.

Linganore senior kicker/quarterback Justin Brown's 27-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in the game capped a comeback for the seventh-seeded Lancers (10-1), who scored three touchdowns in the game's final 11 minutes for a 24-21 victory in the first round of the state Class 2A playoffs.

"We lost just one game all year and that was by a point when Brown missed an extra-point kick," said Linganore first-year coach Bill McIntosh. "I think he redeemed himself today."

Howard County champion and second-seeded Oakland Mills (8-3), despite no first downs in the first half, held a 14-0 lead at halftime thanks to two big plays.

Scorpions senior fullback Brian Howard (three carries, 81 yards) busted a 75-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, then provided a key upfield block for senior Fadan Carter's 74-yard touchdown scamper in the second quarter.

Oakland Mills defense, keyed by Howard (14 tackles) and senior Gene McGill (three sacks), continued to dominate the Lancers in the third quarter by applying constant pressure on Brown (6-of-23, 91 yards). McGill's punt block helped set up an eight-play, 45-yard scoring drive that culminated in Carter's second touchdown, this time from the 1.

Early in the fourth quarter, Oakland Mills appeared to be heading for a fourth touchdown. On first-and-10 from the Linganore 35, Scorpions quarterback Irving Conwell (6-for-15, four interceptions) was intercepted by Lancers senior safety Dan Moxley on a short sideline pass.

"I would have grounded it out if I had to do all over, instead of throwing and getting the ball intercepted," said Oakland Mills coach Ken Hovet, whose Scorpions lost to Linganore earlier this season, 14-6.

Moxley's 41-yard interception return to the Oakland Mills 24 brought life to the Lancers' previously downcast sideline. After a 16-yard run for a first down, Linganore senior tailback Jerit Seidor (19 carries, 180 yards) scored the first of his three touchdowns from the Oakland Mills 8.

Oakland Mills self-destructed on its next drive, picking up two consecutive delay-of-game penalties after having third down and four at midfield. Conwell was intercepted on the next play by Lancer senior Nate Fee.

Seidor took the first handoff from Brown and broke through the Oakland Mills defense for a 76-yard touchdown run. Brown's successful point-after kick closed the Scorpions' lead to 21-14 .. with 7:42 remaining in the game.

"I felt like we had this game won, but they're an explosive team that hangs around and takes advantage of your mistakes," Hovet said. "And we made quite a few mistakes."

Linganore's defense forced an Oakland Mills punt after just four offensive plays from its own 9-yard line. Seidor needed just two more carries to score his third touchdown in less than six minutes. Brown booted the point-after to tie the score at 21.

With 4:52 left in the game, Conwell made a gutty midair dive on third and seven that landed inches shy of the first down at the 30. Oakland Mills elected to punt and rely on its defense that had allowed just 5.3 points per game in seven consecutive wins.

Oakland Mills defense responded, with Conwell deflecting Brown's third-down pass to force a punt. However, Conwell could not move the Scorpions past their own 20 and agains was forced to punt with 1:18 remaining.

Linganore received the ball at the Oakland Mills 30, advanced to the Scorpions 25 on a holding penalty. Two plays later, Brown's 27-yard game winner sailed just inside the left upright.

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