It was history in the making, but not the type Severna Park wanted celebrated on its home field.
Howard County's River Hill came to Severna Park on Saturday for the 3A East Region final and won its second playoff game ever, and its first region title.
As the Hawks snapped pictures under the scoreboard to mark the occasion, the Falcons walked off the field, their season having concluded with a 34-28 loss.
"We knew coming in it was going to be a dogfight," said Falcons senior quarterback Greg Zingler. "They showed [our defense] something we haven't seen before. . . . All credit to them, they played a [heck] of a football game. They just outmanned us."
The Falcons were in it until the end and even led 14-13 in the early stages of the game. Neither defense was consistent in the first half, allowing 21 points each and a combined five touchdowns on the first eight possessions.
The defenses tightened in the second half, but as the game wore on, River Hill running back Nick Campanaro took over, getting 12 carries for 107 yards in the half en route to a 163-yard, three-touchdown day.
"At first they were kind of stacking the line, and they were blitzing a little," said Campanaro. "I was just trying to follow my blocks and look for lanes because when they blitz, they'll blitz themselves out of the play. I was just trying to find the lane and just get what I could get.
"They have a good passing game. They did some things on us in terms of our secondary . . . but our offense worked real well today."
The passing game was the star of the Falcons' show as Zingler threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns, to Tommy Babington and Dave Horn. Horn led the Falcons with 110 yards receiving.
All three players are part of a strong 14-member senior class that Zingler felt led the team this season.
"The entire senior class just stepped up incredibly and pulled this team along," said Zingler, who added that "it really hasn't hit me entirely yet" that his career at Severna Park is over. "It's unbelievable to think that four years ago I came in here playing as a freshman. It's gone way too fast. . . . To go undefeated in the county and win 10 in a row, it's unbelievable. I'm going to remember this for the rest of my life."
It was a "wonderful group of seniors and I'm going to miss them deeply," said Falcons Coach J.P. Hines. "I'm going to miss the nucleus of this team. They were by far the best team I've ever had as a total package. . . . No single individual, they believe, is the sole star of the team, and that's going to be missed, because you don't get that every day."