Almost everywhere the course of yesterday's Glenelg-Oakland Mills game went, Jeff Cordisco was there.
Glenelg's flanker-defensive back caught two touchdowns, intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble in the Gladiators' 22-6 victory over the host Scorpions in the Howard County kickoff for both teams.
Cordisco, a senior, also ran for 15 of the Gladiators' 261 rushing yards, a total buoyed primarily by power backs James McKenney (16 carries, 144 yards) and Mike Deming (12, 102).
In all, Glenelg (4-0) gained 394 yards with an offensive line that opened sizable running holes and protected junior quarterback Sean Lookingbill (9 of 15, 133 yards).
From the time Lookingbill threw a second-quarter, 90-yard touchdown pass to Cordisco, the Gladiators led.
Oakland Mills (1-3) closed to 15-6 on Sam Smith's touchdown catch with 5:00 left in the game. But McKenney's 66-yard scoring run on the next possession guaranteed Glenelg would go into next week's showdown against visiting Wilde Lake undefeated.
"I'm not really surprised," Cordisco said of Glenelg's record. "We've been working hard all year, and I knew if we kept a level head after each win and just kept focusing and working hard, things like this would come.
"I played bad against Oakland Mills last year, and I wanted to step it up against this team. They're one of our main rivals."
The Scorpions lost their third straight game after a season-opening win. With 190 yards, their offense gained 101 more than in last week's loss to Thomas Johnson, but punted six times and penetrated Glenelg's 20 just once, excluding the touchdown drive.
That march sputtered in the second quarter when Cordisco recovered a fumble on the 10. On the next play, Lookingbill passed to him wide open 30 yards away, and he scored untouched 8:04 before halftime. Pierre Yues' conversion gave Glenelg a 7-0 lead.
Cordisco beat Smith, who had slipped.
"As soon as he was down, Sean knew it and just laid it up real nice," Cordisco said. "It was real soft, and I just ran underneath it."
The Scorpions, who gained 84 first-half yards, including 42 on a Damien Smith catch, punted after four plays. The Gladiators then crafted a 10-play, 86-yard drive, spiced by Deming's 49-yard run off left tackle, and scored on Cordisco's 9-yard reception in the flat. Lookingbill turned an errant snap into a 30-yard conversion pass to Matt Buening for a 15-0 lead at halftime.
"I hope this sends a message to every team that when we step on the field we come to play football," Glenelg coach Ed Ashwell said. "I hope nobody takes us lightly. Whenever we get on the field, we want to have respect for the other team so they'll know a good team's coming at them."
Ken Hovet, Oakland Mills' first-year coach, credited the Gladiators' running game, which followed tackles Jeremy Smith and Phil Stanton, guards Toby Heusser and Matt Lopez and center Marc Bolea.
"Their running game was the main factor. We had to put a lot of people up on the ball," Hovet said. "They fired off the ball a little harder than us. They outplayed us."
Of the offensive line, Ashwell said: "They're making the calls and making the blocks, and right now things are going right for us. They're grinding it out, knowing who they have to block and coming at defenses."
Wilde Lake 49, Mt. Hebron 0
Senior quarterback Seth Willingham completed 7 of 7 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns to lead host Wilde Lake (2-2, 1-0) to a shutout victory over Mount Hebron (2-2, 0-1) in a Howard County League game. Mike Green had two catches for a 120 yards and a touchdown.
Hammond 13, Atholton 7
Jim Jackson scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter to break a 7-7 tie and lift visiting Hammond (3-1, 1-0) over Atholton (3-1, 0-1).
Hammond scored in the first quarter on an 8-yard run by Issac Hunter, and Atholton tied it in the second quarter with a 63-yard touchdown pass from Jason Albert to Tony Stewart.
Southern 19, Lackey 7
Senior Wayne Small caught six passes for 119 yards and three touchdowns as No. 12 Southern rallied from its first deficit of the year to go 4-0 for the first time in Buck Gardner's 20 years as coach.