Centennial won the county championship outright by defeating Glenelg in the final game of the regular season yesterday, 20-10.
It was the No. 14-ranked Eagles' 10th straight win following a season-opening loss to Annapolis, and their first title since 1994, when they tied with Glenelg and Oakland Mills.
The victory prevented arch-rival and three-time defending county champion Mount Hebron from sharing the title. Centennial finished the league season a perfect 9-0.
"We came ready to play today, because we didn't want to share the title with Mount Hebron," said Joe Iannarino, who led the Eagles offensively by scoring six goals.
Glenelg came into the game with an impressive 10-2 overall record, and was 5-2 in the league with losses to Mount Hebron and Hammond. "We had heard that Glenelg is an off-and-on team, so we were a little worried," Iannarino said. "But we thought we'd win."
Centennial scored the first five goals and never looked back, pushing that lead to 13-3 at halftime and 19-5 after three quarters.
In addition to Iannarino with six goals, P.J. Paolisso scored four goals and had two assists, Taylor Fields scored two goals and had four assists and Ben Ryan scored three goals and had one assist.
"You can't spot a team like that eight or 10 goals," Glenelg coach Rick Kincaid said. "I'm tickled we didn't quit, but we didn't consistently follow what we wanted to do, which was to slow them down and keep possession."
Glenelg played without senior attackman Adam McQuigg, who was sidelined by a sprained knee. But even with his average of three goals and two assists per game, the Gladiators would have been hard-pressed to stop an awesome Centennial attack that has scored at least 20 goals in five of its last seven games.
"Centennial is a legit team. If you try to run the field with them they'll kill you," Kincaid said. "They have depth, are senior-oriented and very composed. They move the ball to the people they want to get it to. They are well-coached and a class program. We knew this was a big game. Sometimes you can play too hard emotionally."
Centennial's victory celebration was subdued -- almost non-existent.
"Our goals are to win county, region and state [titles]," Centennial coach Mike Siegert said. "This is just the first of our three goals, so we didn't go wild yet."
He wasn't sure what to expect from Glenelg. "You go into every game a little nervous. The Glenelg coaches do a great job, and we hardly ever have [lopsided] games like this. I thought we might have a letdown after beating Mount Hebron last week. But we worked hard in practice Friday and Saturday in the rain and were still focused."
Pub Date: 5/05/98