It wasn't pretty, but looks win beauty pageants -- not football games.
It was with this in mind that Centennial (3-2, 1-1 in Howard County League play) accepted its 22-0 triumph over visiting Howard at Angelo Fortunato Stadium.
First-half touchdown runs of 1 and 7 yards by junior tailback Scott Bross (16 carries, 54 yards) along with a 42-yard pass from John Webster to John Woods highlighted the Eagles' offensive effort.
On the other side of the ball, statistics clearly revealed the hosts' dominance.
The Lions (3-2, 0-2) picked up one first down during the game -- thanks to an 11-yard first-quarter run by leading rusher Owen Brown (five carries, 17 yards). As a team, Howard amassed just )) 11 yards of total offense.
And, the Lions were saddled with 12 penalties for 90 yards.
"We just didn't execute at all," said Howard coach Joe Thomas. "The bottom line is, for the last two games, we just haven't been in sync."
Senior linebacker Matt Roney and senior defensive end George Mitroka acted as catalysts to Centennial's defensive efforts.
Roney had a fumble recovery, a sack, and plenty of big hits all over the field.
Mitroka collected a sack, forced a fumble, and batted down a Chris Poling pass attempt at the line of scrimmage.
"We were kind of sloppy offensively, but defensively, wdominated the entire game," said Centennial coach Ed Holshue. "Matt Roney, [linebacker] Marwan Oweis both played great, and of course George had his usual outstanding game.
"[Defensive tackle] Mike Cochran and [nose guard] Josh Levine were dominant inside. People forget about the defensive line sometimes."
Apparently, the Howard defensive secondary forgot about Woods, who caught four passes for 86 yards.
"We've been waiting for John to step up and have a big game," Holshue said. "This was definitely his best game of the season."
Woods' fourth-quarter score highlighted what has been a weakness of Howard's defense in its first five games.
"[Long pass plays] have been happening to us all year," Thomas said. "Today was no different. We've tried to make some changes, but they haven't been working. You have to be able to stop the run and the pass. Today we stopped the run, but not the pass."
* Hammond 14, Mount Hebron 6: Tim Spruill ran for 131 yards on 20 carries as No. 14 Hammond (5-0) defeated host Mount Hebron (2-3).
Spruill 8-yard touchdown run in the final quarter added insurance to a Golden Bears' 7-6 lead.