Last year, Randallstown opened the season with an overtime loss at home to Eastern Tech, which turned out to be the Rams' only regular-season loss.
Last night, Randallstown's Christian Varner made sure it didn't happen again. The junior passed for two touchdowns and scored another on a kickoff return, as No. 11 Randallstown (1-0) defeated host and eighth-ranked Eastern Tech, 26-18, at CCBC-Essex.
Varner, in his first varsity game as quarterback, also added 76 yards on nine carries. He played defensive back on the varsity last year, and started at quarterback for the JV as a freshman.
"I expect a lot from him this year, but he knows that," said Randallstown coach Anthony Knox. "He's a great athlete, and he makes plays. He made some great ones tonight."
Eastern Tech took its only lead on the last play of the first half when kicker Dave Eder nailed a 40-yard field-goal to make the score 10-8.
On the opening kickoff of the second half, Varner took the lead back. After fielding the ball in the middle of the field at his own 10, Varner outran the Mavericks' coverage team down the right sideline for a 90-yard score and 14-10 lead.
After holding Eastern to 8 yards on the Mavericks' next posession, Randallstown got the ball back at its 42 after an Eastern punt. Five plays later, Varner hit a wide-open Tommy Breaux in the front of the end zone to make it 20-10.
"It feels great to step up in a game like this," said Varner. "Coach puts a lot of faith in me, and it's great to reward him like this."
The Rams held the Mavericks to 6 yards on the next posession, forcing a punt. Randallstown's Dominic Howard fielded the ball at the 50, then jetted 50 yards down the right sideline to increase the lead to 26-10.
"I think the kickoff return lined them up, and the punt return knocked them out," said Knox.
To Eastern's credit, the Mavericks didn't quit.
After a safety made the score 26-12, Eastern quarterback Dietrich Wright made his best play of the night, eluding a tackler in the backfield and throwing 21-yard strike to receiver To Farmer in the back of the end zone to cut the lead to 26-18.
No. 2 Hereford 47, C.M. Wright 21: Senior fullback Adam Goloboski rushed for 287 yards and four touchdowns to lead the host Bulls. As linebacker, Goloboski made 16 tackles.
Ben Miller caught two touchdown passes for Wright.
No. 5 Calvert Hall 41, No. 15 Woodlawn 0: Junior tailback Marques Thompson scored on runs of 4, 30 and 55 yards to lead the host Cardinals' rout.
Lamar Williams scored twice, on a 45-yard pass from quarterback Andrew Goldbeck in the second quarter and on a 62-yard run in the third.
Kenwood 29, Southside 0: The Blue Birds shut out the hosts to end a 22-game losing streak that started in 1998.
No. 4 Perry Hall 2, No. 6 John Carroll 0: Amanda Deaver scored on a counter-attack with six minutes left, helping seal the Gators' road win. Brittany McKew scored the game's first goal on a penalty kick.
North Carroll 3, Westlake 1: The Panthers, who last won midway through the 2000 season, fell behind 1-0 but rallied to end the skid.