At first it appeared Oakland Mills would come up six inches short on offense all afternoon.
The No. 13 Scorpions, making their ninth state playoff appearance, but first since 1995, finally scored on two six-inch quarterback sneaks by T. J. Welsh and defeated Cecil County's Bohemia Manor in the Class 1A state quarterfinal yesterday in Columbia, 15-0.
It was their first shutout.
The Scorpions (10-1) will play host to Cambridge at 1 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals. Oakland Mills' only trip to the finals was in 1982.
Joey Ellis was yesterday's dominant player. He rushed 15 times for 95 yards, caught three passes for 43 yards and made nine tackles from his strong safety position.
"He [Ellis] was blitzing a lot and gave us no time to get rid of it, so we had to go to mostly roll-outs," said Bohemia Manor coach Todd Shives, whose Eagles passed 49 times.
Scorpions wide receiver Tom Browne had yet another big game for the Scorpions, catching four passes for 86 yards, including catches of 43 and 12 yards that set up both touchdowns at the six-inch line. He appeared to score on both catches.
Welsh, who injured his shoulder on his team's third offensive play, was able to return on the next series and completed nine of 19 passes for 136 yards against a strong Bohemia Manor defense.
"When T. J. came back in it fired everyone up," Ellis said. "Our defense won the game today. It scored a safety. Nick Fambro's interception set up a touchdown. Our defensive line and linebackers did a great job. We let them have the short passes, but didn't want to get beat deep."
Oakland Mills coach Ken Hovet said he thought Welsh popped his shoulder out of place and that it popped back on its own. "He was in a lot of pain at first. I thought it was separated. And it would have been a big deal had we lost him."
Oakland Mills scored first on a safety. It was set up by Robert Scott's fumble recovery at the Eagles' 4-yard line. The Scorpions failed to score on four runs -- the last one by Vinnie Rubbo came up six inches short.
But on second down, Michael Ellis tackled the Eagles' Bradon Wright in the end zone for a safety. It was the last play of the first quarter.
Oakland Mills then drove 33 yards to Bo Manor's 20, but again came up six inches short on fourth down.
On their next possession, the Scorpions drove 56 yards on five plays to score with 6: 53 left in the half. Ellis had a 21-yard run and Browne a 43-yard catch.
Late in the half, Bo Manor (8-3) drove to Oakland Mills' 15-yard line. Brian Holly's resounding tackle of Wright for a 4-yard loss helped the Scorpions stop the Eagles.
Fambro intercepted a pass at Bo Manor's 23-yard line early in the third quarter. A roughing the passer penalty and a 12-yard pass to Browne set up the touchdown.
Bo Manor had two more scoring chances. A 41-yard drive to Oakland Mills' 25 ended early in the fourth quarter on a dropped pass. A 73-yard drive later in the fourth period to the Oakland Mills' 13 ended on Julian Barfield's interception in the end zone.
Bo Manor quarterback Jeremy Poore completed 15 of 49 passes for 205 yards and threw two interceptions. Bo Manor had only 22 yards rushing against a five-man defensive front.
"We haven't used a five-man front all season," Hovet said.
Pub Date: 11/15/98