Malcolm Gillian scored the game-winner on a pinball carom as Oakland Mills nipped Centennial, 1-0, to escape with the Class 3A/Region I championship and the No. 1 ranking in The Evening Sun soccer Top 20.
"I had a clear shot from about 8 yards, but I'm not sure where the ball rebounded from," said Gillian.
His goal came 11 minutes into the match, played Saturday night at Howard High before an estimated 2,500 spectators. Oakland Mills coach Don Shea decided to sit on the lead, shifting national team captain Clint Peay to sweeper with 30 minutes remaining.
"This traditionally is a one-goal game and we had ours, so I moved Clint back and then, about 15 minutes later, moved Sean Wray and Ryan Burke to play as double stoppers." said Shea.
The Scorpions (12-2) will face South River at South Carroll Friday (5 p.m.) in the state Class 3A semifinals. Kennedy and Franklin will meet in the other semifinal at 7:30.
* Randallstown, No. 1 in the football Top 20, breezed over Dulaney, 55-8, but then had a scare when second-string linebacker Jerome Murray collapsed on the way to the team bus.
Coach John Buchheister gave his player first aid for hyperventilation and then called for paramedics, who transported Murray to the hospital.
"Jerome's fine," said Buchheister last night. "The doctors checked him over and released him."
* C. Milton Wright (9-0) clinched at least a tie for the Harford County football league, downing Joppatowne, 21-0. The Mustangs (7-0 in the league) end the regular season at home Thursday night vs. Fallston.
Aberdeen (6-1) is the only team with a chance to catch the Mustangs, who registered their third straight shutout and fifth of the season.
Israel Sostrin and Ken Batten spearhead the defense as linebackers and key the offense as running backs. Batten has been the big ground gainer all season, but coach Steve Harward went to Sostrin more Friday night as Joppatowne keyed on Batten.
Sostrin gained 53 yards on 11 carries and helped set up a pair of Jeff Hawk quarterback sneaks for touchdowns. Sostrin then iced the victory with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown.
* Oakland Mills defender Bridget Roberts never had scored before Saturday night in the region finals. She got the game-winning goal as the Scorpions defeated Howard, 2-1, sending a looping shot from 30 yards that cleared Howard goalkeeper, Krista Fulton, and just slipped under the crossbar.
* Archbishop Curley defeated Loyola in cross country, 20-36, to win the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference dual meet championship. The MSA individual championships go Wednesday at Herring Run (3:30).
* Mount Hebron senior Cescili Drake will sign early for basketball next week, says coach Dave Greenberg. Drake, a 5-foot-6 guard, will accept an offer from UNC-Greensboro on Nov. 14, the first day of the early signing period.