Centennial's Randy Collins is one of those highly skilled and elusive forwards who possesses an uncanny knack for being in the right place and for scoring the big goal.
After scoring both goals for No. 10 Centennial (2-0) last week in a season-opening victory, the senior striker came through again yesterday against No. 12-ranked Fallston by scoring the game's lone goal in the 50th minute at Fallston.
Guarded closely by a defender and running at full speed into the 18-yard box, Collins took a through ball from teammate Ryan Oates and booted the ball off the outside of his right foot. The ball sailed over the goalie to the inside of the far post for the 1-0 victory.
The shot impressed his coach, Jim Zehe, who credited Collins for stepping up in the absence of teammate Greg Long, another Eagles offensive stalwart who was sidelined with an injured ankle.
"It put a lot more responsibility on Randy," Zehe said of Long's injury. "Sid Tarason did a nice job up top with Randy."
Fallston coach Christopher Hoover called Collins "a very good player."
But he thought his team played pretty well defensively against him in the Cougars' season opener.
"We played pretty well, but just didn't finish," Hoover said.
Fallston's top player, striker David Feazell, sat out the first 30 minutes for breaking a team rule, and shortly after he entered the game missed a volley wide left from the 18-yard box in the 32nd minute - one of Fallston's best scoring chances.
Another one came in the last minute of the first half when Ryan Richardson chested a ball from point-blank range that Centennial goalkeeper Andy Wilhelm saved. Wilhelm made seven saves.
"Andy was perfect," said Zehe. "Fallston did a nice job of running diagonals and spreading us out defensively."
Fallston actually outshot visiting Centennial, 9-7, but the Eagles had the more dangerous scoring chances - missing three shots from inside 18 yards during the first 25 minutes and two shots in the last 10 minutes.
"Fallston played well," Collins said. "They won a lot of fifty-fifty balls in the midfield and were a physical team."
The Cougars not only outshot Centennial, but took five corner kicks to one for the Eagles.
Hoover praised the play of his center midfielders, Richard Murray and Brandon Fischer, and of his sweeper Brian Stromberg.