Old Mill Patriots 36- Quince Orchard Cougars 35 (OT)
MPSSAA 4A State Final at M&T Bank Stadium
December 1, 2011
Rob Chesson trusted his instincts and his coach Chad McCormick in his Maryland-record 48 rushing touchdowns. After the Old Mill Patriots (14-0) tied the 4A State Final in overtime, McCormick pulled his kicking team off the field for the extra point and put his offense, led by Chesson, back in to attempt a two-point conversion to win the game.
Chesson took a toss left and dove from the three-yard line, past three defenders and landed where the endzone’s purple raven in M&T Bank Stadium’s met the green turf to seal the Patriots 36-35 win over the Quince Orchard Cougars (13-1).
“Get there in a hurry. That’s all I could think about,” Chesson said. “I’ve been diving through the endzone all year so one more wouldn’t hurt. I figured diving would get me there faster so I just went with my instinct and took it.”
Down 21-7 at the half, the Old Mill comeback was capped with 42 seconds remaining in regulation when quarterback Deonte Shields (9-17-235 yards, 3 touchdowns) found Carl Chance for a 70-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass. After an unsportsmanlike penalty was assessed to the Patriot bench, sophomore kicker Brady Hannon split the uprights with a 35-yard extra point to knot the game at 28.
The Cougars scored on their overtime possession when quarterback Billy Plante (6-17-92 yards, 2 touchdowns, interception) rolled right and hit Tryrell Robinson on a hitch in the back corner of the endzone, but head coach Dave Mencarini elected to go for one, not two, and trotted kicker Chris McPherson out to for the point-after, giving the Cougars a 35-28 lead.
“When we scored I wanted to put our defense on the field,” Mencarini said. “I feel we have a great defense. When you get the ball first and go for two and you don’t get it, you put yourself at a real disadvantage. Our kicker, even though he missed a field goal late in the game, was excellent on his extra points.”
QO’s defense was outstanding, but not outstanding enough to keep Chesson (26 carries, 154 yards) and the Patriots out of the endzone with four tries from inside the 10 yard-line in overtime.
On first and second down, Chesson carried for three and six yards respectively to bring the Patriots to the Cougar one yard-line. Shields snuck in behind the center from there and McCormick sent out his special teams unit to potentially tie the game.
But McCormick had a change of heart and burned his sole timeout for the overtime period and huddled his team. “It was gut-check time. We were going to win or lose the StateChampionship on that play and losing just wasn’t an option,” he said. “I looked at Rob and I said ‘you just gotta get in the endzone’ and he had the confidence to do it.”
Notes: Leading the Cougars offensively was senior runningback Mark Green (43 carries, 218 yards, 3 touchdowns). It is the first and only game this season Chesson has been held without a touchdown. This is Old Mill’s second title in three years and the first for McCormick in his first year as head coach.