Centennial (1-1) surprised a lot of people by defeating South Carroll yesterday, 26-14.
In the preseason the Eagles were projected as a middle-of-the-pack team in Howard County.
And No. 14 South Carroll (1-1) last week beat Wilde Lake, a team considered a Howard County title contender.
The combination of a Centennial offensive line that blocked much better than a week ago, and a defensive line that tackled better and put constant pressure on South Carroll's sophomore quarterback Lee Windsor, made the difference.
Windsor threw three interceptions. One was returned 51 yards for Centennial's third touchdown by John Woods. Another one was returned 49 yards by Chip Harrison to South Carroll's 33-yard line. And two plays later Centennial scored its second touchdown on a 32-yard pass from John Webster to Jason Zolak.
"I never got touched today, our pass protection was so good," said Webster (four of eight for 76 yards, one touchdown). "A week ago I was on my back a lot. We just changed our blocking scheme."
Webster's counterpart, Windsor, felt the heat all day, especially from defensive end George Mitroka, who made 10 tackles and two sacks.
Centennial had opened the game with a 74-yard touchdown drive capped by Harrison's 4-yard run.
"Our line was opening holes so big I could see daylight," said running back Scott Bross (18 carries, 94 yards, one touchdown).
Centennial led 18-7 at halftime. South Carroll scored its touchdown after a bad snap on an attempted punt by Centennial gave the Cavaliers field position at Centennial's 2.
Centennial's outstanding blocking was more remarkable because the Eagles' best lineman, 6-foot-1, 257-pound Aaron Perkins, injured his knee on the conversion attempt after Centennial's first touchdown and missed the rest of the game.
South Carroll also had a key injury in the first quarter when running back Mike Chenoweth suffered a concussion. He hit the back of his head as he was tackled backward and missed the rest of the game. Last week he rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns against Wilde Lake.
"Losing Chenoweth made us throw more than we wanted to," South Carroll coach Gene Brown said. "We certainly didn't take Centennial lightly. They just came ready to play and did a good job."
The Cavaliers tried to get back in the game with a 52-yard third-quarter mini-drive to Centennial's 13-yard line. The big play was a 48-yard pass to Dan Richardson. But Centennial's defense held.
Boys' Latin 20, Gilman 0: Aaron Vercollone completed 14 of 26 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns as Boys' Latin (1-1) upset No. 6 Gilman (0-1).
Vercollone rushed eight times for 25 yards, including a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
* Glenelg 32, North Carroll 14: Beau Pich completed 12 of 21 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns to push Glenelg (1-1) over visiting North Carroll (0-2). Jeremy Lignelli ran for 163 yards for the Gladiators.
* Mount Hebron 20, Patapsco 0: Quarterback Jon Smith had 193 yards of total offense to help Mount Hebron (2-0) over visiting Patapsco (0-2).
* Wilde Lake 20, Bladensburg 8: Jeff Johnson threw for 114 yards and three touchdowns to help Wilde Lake (1-1) over visiting Bladensburg (0-2). Dain Lewis had 111 yards rushing and one touchdown.