For Centennial's corner-kick specialist, Eric Tischer, it was an encore performance.
His corner kick yesterday at Old Mill High gave the top-ranked and unbeaten Eagles (14-0-2) their fourth state title with a 2-1 triumph over Thomas Stone in the Class 3A championship game.
Tischer boomed a right-footed kick directly into the goal with 27 minutes, 12 seconds left to play.
It was the second time this season he won a game with a corner. Earlier in the year, the Eagles beat Walt Whitman, 2-1, on an almost identical shot.
"Their goalkeeper was very good but we just kept banging the ball into the corner and sooner or later we knew we'd score off a dead ball," Tischer said.
The high-scoring Cougars (14-1-1) -- who outshot opponents, 67-8, during the season -- were unable to generate much offense against Centennial. The Eagles outshot them, 14-4.
Thomas Stone did lead 1-0 on a goal by Willie Morris with 6:20 left in the first half. He slipped a shot through two defenders and past Centennial keeper Brock Yetso from 5 yards out.
But Centennial responded 75 seconds later, when Tod Downen's header from 10 yards found the net. The play started on a free kick by Werner Kreuger from the 35-yard line.
"I just flicked it over the goalie, who was very good," said Downen. "We knew we could come back when we got down because we've done it before. We wanted to keep Centennial's winning tradition alive."
The Eagles also won state titles in 1983, 1984 and 1987.
Centennial coach Bill Stara wasn't surprised that Thomas Stone tried to shut down his leading scorer, Josh Baer, who has 18 goals.
"But I knew if they did that they'd have to give us corners and throw-ins," Stara said.
Centennial had eight corner kicks to none for Stone. The Eagles also had a total of 26 restarts -- including corner kicks, free kicks or throw-ins -- from scoring position to just five for Stone.
"It was a question of just sticking to Coach Stara's system and it got us this championship," Downen said.