Catonsville High continued its conquest of Baltimore County opponents Wednesday evening with a 5-0 whitewash of visiting Parkville.
The Comets went into the game tied with Hereford and Sparrows Point, who were playing each other at the same time, for the top spot in the division, in hopes of defending its county championship.
The win improved the Comets (8-1-2) to 7-0-1 against Baltimore County foes.
Catonsville’s only loss came against Mount St. Joseph in an early-season tournament and its only ties came against Sparrows Point and North County with All-Metro and All-County standout Jose Moran absent because of a sprained ankle.
Moran scored 16 goals and had five assists last season, and had seven goals before he was injured three weeks ago in a 2-1 win over Perry Hall.
“We knew coming down here we had our backs to the wall,” Parkville coach Gary Burkhardt said. “Catonsville is one of the better programs in the area, with or without Jose.”
Parkville (3-6) gave the Comets all they could handle in the first half, thanks to solid offensive ball handling from Armel Noubia and Ihechi Akwoule, and timely defense from Omar Fernandez and goalie Glen Agbor.
“No. 9 (Noubia) and No. 3 (Akwoule) were controlling everything in the first half and we just started double-teamming and taking the ball away from them and keeping the pressure on,” Catonsville coach Vic Vega said.
Catonsville did get a goal in the first half on a perfect cross from Cody Scott to Ryan Nee, who scored with 14:54 left.
Dillon Hannah’s cross to Daniel Kim six minutes later nearly put them up two goals, but the shot went wide.
Catonsville outshot the Knights 9-5 in the first half, but only maintained a one-goal lead.
In the second half, they exploded — with two goals each from Emmanuel Amihere and Scott.
Amihere wasted no time when he deposited Kim’s feed 88 seconds into the second half for a 2-0 lead.
After Parkville’s Agbor made two outstanding saves, Amihere struck again, off a sweet feed from Tim Burk into the middle.
Catonsville coach Vega is used to seeing Burk make frequent passes down the line, but Amihere was open in the center and he found him.
“You know he is going to put the pass there so you have to get there,” said Vega, noting Amihere was more in tune to the offense in the second half.
”When he loses focus, he’s tough to get back into the game,” Vega said. “When he is composed and plays within himself and plays unselfish, he plays well because he has a good touch on the ball.”
Scott, who had the final two goals on the second half, usually has a good touch on the ball too, but it’s often feeding other teammates.
“Cody has been playing well all season and that’s the first time he’s scored all year,” Vega said. “He has seven or eight assists because he plays unselfish to a fault, so I was glad to see him put them in the net.”
The Comet defense of Ben Croom, Will Johnson, Drew Carlson, Tim English and goalie Kevin Sheppard continued to play well and they have only allowed only one goal all season to county foes.
“I’m really pleased with our team defense,” Vega said. “We just need to keep our composure and make sure we are connecting on the short passes.”