Arundel quarterback Nick Rosati knew he had some big shoes to fill this season stepping in for Billy Cosh, who finished his career with 11 state passing records.
Rosati showed he is more than capable of running the offense, orchestrating scoring drives on the third-ranked Wildcats' opening three possessions en route to a 30-7 victory over No. 2 Old Mill before an overflow crowd of 5,000 in Gambrills on Friday night.
The Wildcats' defense was equally impressive in forcing three turnovers and limiting Old Mill to three trips into the red zone.
"I was little bit nervous, but once I got out there, we started rolling," said Rosati, a senior. "This was definitely a confidence booster. But we have to play a couple of tough teams, so we'll see what happens."
The game was a rematch of last year's thrilling regional final, which eventual Class 4A state champion Old Mill won, 58-55, in overtime.
Rosati completed 18 of 32 passes Friday for 295 yards and three touchdowns, and he also ran for a touchdown. The Wildcats' Joseph Blackwell rushed for 101 yards on 14 carries.
Arundel's Michael Partilla and Michael Coombs each had an interception, and defensive lineman Tommy Chepurko finished with nine tackles.
Demond Brown led Old Mill with 202 yards rushing and one touchdown on 32 carries.
Rosati orchestrated an eight-play, 72-yard scoring drive on Arundel's first possession, capped by an 11-yard pass to Tyler Young for a 7-0 lead with 7:55 left in the first quarter. The Wildcats opened a 14-0 lead on a 7-yard pass from Rosati to Young on the first play of the second quarter.
A 25-yard field goal by Wade Korvin, one of the most highly recruited kickers in the state, gave the Wildcats a 17-0 lead at the half.
"It's tremendous to beat a quality team in Week 1," Arundel coach Chuck Markiewicz said. "We've been here before. We did the same thing last year. We got another game next week and we have to prepare for that. We'll enjoy this for a couple of days and get right back to work."
Old Mill got on the scoreboard with 6:04 left in the third quarter on a 2-yard run by Brown, capping a nine-play, 63-yard drive.
The Wildcats answered when a bad snap on an Old Mill punt gave them the ball on the 1 with 1:01 left in the third quarter. Rosati scored three plays later running just off center.
Arundel put the game out of reach on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Rosati to Tyler Washington with 10:21 remaining in the game.