Gilman coach Biff Poggi was concerned about his team's focus before its game against Landon last night.
The Greyhounds, coming off a huge win against Loyola, might have been looking ahead to playing McDonogh next week for the outright Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown. So, Poggi reinforced the importance of beating Landon, a strong, nonconference opponent from Washington.
His players responded by scoring two second-half touchdowns and withstanding a late rally by the Bears for a 12-7 win at Towson University. After dropping their first two games of the season to DeMatha and Bergen Catholic, the Greyhounds (6-2) have won six straight.
Despite the victory, Poggi was unhappy with his team's effort.
"I thought Landon was very focused, but I don't think that was our best effort at all," Poggi said. "Part of that was that Landon played very well. We didn't play very well. We did not control the line of scrimmage. We have to get a lot better or we won't win next week."
In the third quarter, after Joey Ehrmann's second sack of the game, the Bears (4-5) punted from deep in their own territory. Gilman started the ensuing drive on Landon's 26-yard line. Five plays later, quarterback Makura Compton scored from the 3-yard line to give the Greyhounds a 6-0 lead.
Running back Ben Eaton extended the lead to 12-0 with a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:30 left in the fourth quarter.
Landon's offense began to click late in the game. Ray Lynn threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Raesly to cut the lead to 12-7. Gilman punted on the next possession, and a botched snap gave the Bears the ball on the Greyhounds' 35-yard line.
Gilman's defense came up with four big stops to seal the win.
"We gave it our best shot," Landon coach Rob Bordley said. "We've had some great games against Gilman for more than a decade. We just can't seem to finish the deal."
No. 1 River Hill 41, Howard 0 -- Zach Martin scored three rushing touchdowns to power the host Hawks (9-0) past the Lions (2-7) and clinch their fourth straight Howard County Championship. River Hill led 27-0 at the half. Daniel Hostetler threw for two touchdowns and ran for another.
C. Milton Wright 41, Edgewood 25 -- Sterlin Mickey had three touchdown rushes to power the host Mustangs (5-4) past the Rams (7-2). C. Milton Wright led 21-7 at the half.
Centennial 44, Oakland Mills 0 -- Eagles quarterback Owen Dresser ran for a 35-yard touchdown with six minutes to go, when a flag was thrown for an excessive hit by a Scorpions player. The game at Centennial ended because of excessive penalties by Oakland Mills. Alex Bechta, who rushed 15 times for 87 yards, became Centennial's all-time leading rusher with 2,100 career yards.
Dunbar 36, Digital Harbor 0 -- Tavon Austin rushed eight times for 100 yards, scoring on a 33-yard touchdown run at Swann Park. Maurice Portee scored three times, including a 21-yard interception return.
Staff reports contributed to this article.