Robert Blanco's header with 30 seconds left in regulation time enabled second-ranked Centennial to tie No. 1 Howard, 1-1, yesterday at Centennial.
The unbeaten teams were unable to break the tie in tw 10-minute, sudden-death overtime periods.
Blanco, a senior midfielder who missed most of last seaso because of injuries, scored from 1 yard out off a corner kick by Chris Arcella. It was Blanco's third goal this season.
Centennial (7-0-1) had a one-man advantage when it scored because Howard sweeper Jon Armstrong had been ejected in the 78th minute after drawing his second yellow card.
Armstrong earned that card by pulling Centennial midfielde Josh Baer's shirt and yanking him to the ground at the 30-yard line, as Baer dribbled toward the Howard goal.
In the official's judgment, Baer had a chance to score on th play.
Armstrong drew his first yellow card in the 35th minute for dela of game while he prepared a goal kick.
Howard (7-0-1), defending state Class 3A co-champion, kep alive a 24-game unbeaten streak.
Howard scored its goal in the 12th minute on a 30-yard crossin shot by Steve Sietsema into the upper left corner of the net. The ball sailed just over Centennial goalie John Bratiotis' hands.
Centennial, playing a man-up after Armstrong's ejection, had tw excellent chances to win the game in the first overtime, but Howard goalie Joe Wilson caught a strong shot by Baer to the lower right corner in the 82nd minute, and another strong shot by Arcella in the 85th minute.
Wilson and Bratiotis each made nine saves, with five of Bratiotis coming in the first half and five of Wilson's in the second half.
"Most people will think this [tie] was a win for us because w were the underdog," Centennial coach Bill Stara said, "but I wanted a win and we played for the win with them a man-down in overtime. We had our chances."
Howard coach Rudy Storch seemed happy to escape with a ti after his team was forced to play short-handed.
"They [Centennial] always get us in the last minute on this field, Storch said, referring to a game two years ago in which Centennial scored two goals in the last five minutes to gain a 2-1 victory. "Centennial played well today."