A muddy field helped keep Century quarterback Josh Bordner off balance in Friday night's Class 2A West regional semifinal and host South Carroll took care of the rest, smothering the Boston College-bound quarterback with consistent pressure, stopping the run and using a pair of first-half scores to take a lead it never relinquished in a 10-6 win.
"If Bordner is on, it's going to be hard to beat them," South Carroll coach Steve Luette said. "We were able to shut him down a little bit today, and that's what we needed to do."
Second seed South Carroll (9-2) advanced to next week's regional final, where it will face No. 4 seed Middletown, a 14-7 winner over top seed Rockville in overtime.
To get there, the Cavaliers first had to find a way to turn the tables on the defending regional champions, who had beaten them, 26-6, earlier this season. They did so with a combination of blitzing and tight press coverage.
Bordner finished 13-for-36 with a touchdown and an interception.
"We didn't let Bordner have any time," Cavaliers quarterback Alex Terpening said. "Last time we were kind of intimidated by them - 12-1 [last year] with a Boston College-bound quarterback. This game, we knew we could beat them. We came out fired up and took it to them in the first half."
Both teams struggled early on the sloppy field, each turning the ball over on its first two possessions.
It was Century, however, that broke through first, with Bordner floating a long pass down the right sideline to Bryan Kasper, who took it the rest of the way for a 76-yard touchdown.
The lead wouldn't last.
After starting each of its first four possessions in Knights territory, South Carroll finally broke through late in the first quarter, with L.J. Costley's 27-yard run setting up Terpening's 2-yard sneak. John Porter's extra point gave the Cavaliers the lead.
Porter later added a 22-yard field goal to give South Carroll a 10-6 lead at the half.
With Century's offense literally stuck in the mud, South Carroll continued to use the clock by handing off to Ben McCarty (11 carries for 38 yards) and Costley (11 carries for 62 yards).
"We thought we were a little more balanced," Luette said. "We thought we'd be able to run eventually against them."
C 6 0 0 0 - 6
S 7 3 0 0 - 10
C-Kasper 76 pass from /Bordner (kick failed)
SC-Terpening 2 run (Porter kick)
SC-Porter 22 FG