Visiting Atholton did not need host Centennial's homecoming celebration as motivation for victory. The Raiders (6-2, 4-1) just used last year's 47-7 loss to Centennial as their main inspiration yesterday.
In a 41-0 win over Centennial (4-4, 2-3), Atholton senior quarterback Jason Sandner and a trio of Raiders backs exploited Atholton's best weapon -- the Raiders' massive offensive line that averages 6-feet-2, 225 pounds.
"When you have the best offensive line in the county -- and we do-- it's easy for us running backs. We just run right behind them," said senior tailback Ricky Trott, who at 5-8 finds little problem getting lost behind junior tackle Marcus Boykins (6-4, 320) or junior tackle Paul McElheny (6-6, 278).
Trott (11 carries, 120 yards) was joined by senior fullback John Sanford and junior tailback Levar Macon in surpassing 100 yards rushing on the afternoon. Trott ran for two touchdowns and caught a 14-yard pass from Sandner for a third score.
Atholton's defense thwarted Centennial's opening drive, stopping the Eagles on fourth-and-goal from the 6 as Trott broke up senior quarterback John Webster's pass at the goal line. Centennial drove inside the Atholton 10-yard line four other times, only to be turned away by the Raiders.
On Atholton's third offensive play from scrimmage, Sanford busted an 89-yard touchdown run up the middle. Sanford finished with 107 yards, but was limited to just two carries after injuring his right ankle.
"We ran the option dive to perfection and on that play John breaks a tackle to go all the way," Atholton coach Kevin Kelly said. "We really controlled the line of scrimmage, which is what Centennial did to us last year."
After two Trott touchdowns, Macon produced a 49-yard jaunt down the left sideline to push Atholton's first- half lead to 34-0.
Atholton's defense did the rest in the second half, as Josh Neel's sack of senior Nick Landridge forced a fumble and Raider linebacker John Porter later sacked Landridge for a 10-yard loss on fourth-and-four at the Atholton 9.
Atholton's final touchdown was set up by Macon's 32-yard run and Trott's 29-yard gallop. Raider sophomore Lamar Porter took it the remaining 30 yards with his 13-yard scamper for a score pushing the margin to 41-0. Atholton four backs finished with 364 yards and six touchdowns on 28 carries.
"I was a little worried to be honest coming into this game coming off last weekend's emotional win over Wilde Lake, but I kept telling the team that Centennial is pretty good," said Kelly.
Centennial's offense was led by senior fullback Matt Roney, who rushed 11 times for 67 yards, and senior tight end George Mitroka (four receptions, 99 yards).
* Oakland Mills 40, Mount Hebron 0: The No. 6 Scorpions (6-2) defeated the host Vikings behind three touchdown passes from Irving Conwell.
* Howard 36, Glenelg 0: Anthony Haywood rushed for 14 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown as visiting Howard (5-3) shut out Glenelg. Dedrick Colbert had 95 yards and a touchdown.
* Gilman 36, Calvert Hall 12: The host Greyhounds (1-6) won as Greg Plitt caught two touchdowns from Russell Wrenn and Chase Martin rushed for two scores. Calvert Hall is 3-5.
* Loyola 19, City 8: Quarterback Brant Hall had 114 yards rushing and scored a touchdown as the visiting Dons (3-4) beat the Knights (4-4). City pulled within four points until Loyola's Shannon Young scored from four yards out in the fourth quarter.
* Meade 32, Chesapeake-AA 0: Roman Harrison rushed 30 times for 210 yards and four touchdowns and a two-point conversion, accounting for all but six points as No. 15 Meade (7-1) shut out visiting Chesapeake-AA (2-5).
Harrison's career totals (193 carries, 1,370 yards and 17 touchdowns) are school records.
* St. Mary's 35, McDonogh 12: Rashi Reed rushed for two fourth-quarter touchdowns and 85 yards as visiting St. Mary's (5-3) defeated McDonogh (0-6).