If the opening game is any indication, then the Howard Lions are ready for another outstanding football season.
Howard put together a 9-2 season last year after beating Parkville, 42-0, in the opening game. Last night, Howard defeated visiting Parkville, 41-8.
The Lions, last season's Howard County champions, dominated the Knights of Baltimore County from the opening kickoff, which was returned by Rachid Schafer 90 yards for a touchdown.
Howard didn't let up after that: It scored on its next two possessions and its defense held Parkville to 8 yards in the first half.
Howard drove 41 yards for its second touchdown. DaLawn Parrish's 23-yard quarterback draw and Corey Curtis' 12-yard run set up the score, which came on Parrish's keeper from the 2-yard line. Miller's kick was wide to the left.
Howard drove 61 yards for its third touchdown. The drive featured a 28-yard run by Miller, who dragged a Parkville tackler 15 yards before being pulled down. Curtis rushed five times for 31 yards on the drive. Parrish capped off the drive again with a 2-yard keeper. Parrish passed to Matt Anderson for a two-point conversion that made it 21-0 with 2:27 left in the first quarter.
Penalties held Howard in check in the second quarter.
The Lions were called for holding twice, clipping twice, delay of game and passing the ball beyond the line of scrimmage.
"We played a good game but need to clean up the yellow flags," Howard coach John Quinn said. "It was clear we had more skills and talent than Parkville, but we had 12 penalties in the first half."
Howard's Jeff Wicklein recovered a Parkville fumble at Howard's 43, but the Lions failed to capitalize because of a clipping penalty.
Howard took over on downs at Parkville's 44-yard line late in the second quarter and penalties again thwarted Howard's attack.
Parkville ran the last play of the quarter after taking over on downs, and Miller intercepted for Howard. Miller returned the ball 35 yards before Parkville's Gladston Lily made a saving tackle at Parkville's 15-yard line.
In the third quarter Parkville was held to 3 yards on its first possession and Parrish returned a punt 45 yards to Parkville's 25-yard line.
Parrish's 13-yard pass to Shafer moved Howard to the 7-yard line.
Then Curtis ran seven yards off tackle for the touchdown. Miller kicked the extra point for a 28-0 lead with 7:32 left in the third period.
Howard scored again when substitute quarterback Terrill Carter passed five yards to A. J. Durham for a touchdown. The extra-point kick attempt was wide left.