Third-ranked T.C. Williams held Centreville to 17 yards of offense in the second half and 83 for the game as the Titans won a tough Virginia AAA Northern District game, 21-3, yesterday at T.C. Williams.

T.C. Williams (5-0, 2-0) took over sole possession of the district lead and is the only unbeaten team in the Northern Region. Centreville, in its first Northern Region season, fell to 4-1, 1-1.

The first half was a tough, physical 24 minutes in which each team scored once. The Titans got a touchdown with a 49-yard, 15-play drive following a Wildcats punt. Ratcliff Thomas ended the 8-minute 52-second drive with a one-yard run.

At that point, Centreville had just six plays for nine yards. But the Wildcats' offense, playing with growing confidence, drove right down the field after the kickoff.

Using 7:14 from the clock, the Wildcats moved 68 yards to a second-and-goal at the Titans 2. But two big defensive plays stalled the drive. First, Willie Sydnor dropped Jason Henderson for a two-yard loss, then Thomas brought down Mike Donovan at the 5. Bjorn Merten converted a 22-yard field goal for a 7-3 halftime score.

"They did what we didn't want them to do -- control the clock," said T.C. Williams Coach Glenn Furman. "Emotionally they put themselves in a position to win. They went off the field {at halftime} cheering in front of our guys and we used that as a motivational tool at halftime."

The final play of the third quarter proved to be the key play of the game. Quarterback Merten rolled left seeking to pass but before he could bring his arm up to throw, Ricky Ross leveled him, forcing a fumble that was recovered by the Titans. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Ezra Whorley ran a quarterback option for a 15-yard touchdown and a 14-3 edge.

Michael Miles intercepted a Merten pass on the next Centreville possession and four plays later, Rashawn Jackson (15 carries, 103 yards) ran a quick-hitter into the middle of the line for a 34-yard touchdown and the final margin.