Malcolm Gillian scored two goals in leading the third-ranked Oakland Mills Scorpions to a 4-2 victory over host No. 2 Centennial yesterday.
Oakland Mills (8-2, 4-1) needed a win to maintain its chances of making the Region I, Class 3A playoffs.
"It was do-or-die out there today for us," Gillian said.
Gillian, playing forward, scored in the third minute on a header from the left side about 8 yards out, off a pass from Mike Foschetti. The shot bounced off Centennial goalie John Bratiotis' right arm.
"I headed it into the ground, and it took a weird bounce and went in," Gillian said.
Centennial (8-1-1, 3-1-1) tied the game, 1-1, when Josh Baer knocked in a loose ball from 6 yards out in the 22nd minute.
Oakland Mills went ahead, 2-1, in the 35th minute on midfielder Clint Peay's 35-yard direct kick that sailed over Bratiotis' hands.
Just three minutes into the second half of the highly physical contest, Centennial tied the game with its second goal off a direct kick from 10 yards by midfielder Todd Downen.
Oakland Mills scored their third goal in the 57th minute, on a play that started with a throw-in by Wallace Chandler. Sean Wray, standing beyond the far post, headed it to Gillian, who kicked it in from 10 yards for his seventh goal this year.
"Gillian and [Ike] Roh just ripped us apart this game, Roh in the first half and Gillian in the second," Centennial coach Bill Stara said.
Midfielder Pat Forsythe scored the final goal from 10 yards out in the 74th minute. The shot was deflected off a Centennial player into the right corner of the net.
The loss dropped Centennial to a game out of first place in the Howard County League standings, behind Howard, which is 4-0-1.
"We only need to win one of our final two games to make the playoffs, so we're just trying to stay on an even keel," Stara said. "The game didn't mean as much to us as it did to Oakland Mills."