Centennial could end playoff drought

Last postseason appearance was '80


November 01, 2006|By Lem Satterfield, Pat O'Malley and Glenn Graham | Lem Satterfield, Pat O'Malley and Glenn Graham,sun reporters

After nearly three decades of futility, the Centennial football team has a shot at making the playoffs.

With remaining games against Oakland Mills and Howard, the Eagles (6-2 overall and in the Howard County League) are in the thick of a heated race for the fourth and final spot in the Class 3A East region standings.

Centennial entered last weekend in fifth place, behind River Hill, Severna Park, Edgewood and North Harford in its quest for its first postseason berth since reaching the Class B playoffs in 1980.

In its victories, Centennial had been scoring an average of more than 27 points, while its defense has limited the opposition to an average of 6 points.

"It's remarkable that we're in this position," said third-year coach Jamie Wagner, whose Eagles had gone 1-8 in 2004 and 6-23, over the past three seasons. "We're scoring points, but our defense has been underrated."

Entering last weekend's 42-6 rout of Marriotts Ridge, linebacker Mike Rossberg was the Eagles' top tackler, defensive end Riley Fritts had four sacks and seven tackles for lost yardage, defensive tackle Alex Miller had three sacks and six tackles for lost yardage, and defensive tackle Andrew Spiegel, three sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Defensive backs Justin Harris, John Yu and Tsusa Matsui had combined for 23 of the Eagles' 32 pass breakups and five of eight interceptions. Harris also had recovered a fumble for a touchdown.

Gators in final

Reservoir earned its berth in tonight's Howard County volleyball championship match by upsetting top-ranked Centennial in four fiercely contested games last Thursday.

With scores of 29-31, 25-22, 26-24 and 31-29, Reservoir eliminated the Eagles in a must-win match with outside hitters Rachel Burke and Jamie Thomas leading the way.

The No. 2 Gators (13-1) will host No. 7 Glenelg (10-3) at 6 tonight in Fulton. It is Reservoir's first appearance in the final. Glenelg was last year's runner-up to 14-time county champion Centennial (12-1).

It was not until Oct. 23 that Reservoir coach Carole Ferrante found out that her team had to beat Centennial to get into the championship. She and Centennial coach Jerry Hulla thought they already were both in for having the two best records and that their match would determine the site of the final.

Centennial and Reservoir finished 12-1 in Division I, with the teams splitting their matches against each other. It went to the fourth tiebreaker - least number of games to win, and it took Centennial five to Reservoir's four - to separate them.

Glenelg won Division II by the tiebreaker over No. 9 River Hill (10-3), having defeated the Hawks head-to-head.




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