Title-hungry McNamara served Carroll a steady diet of big plays yesterday and took a giant step closer to the Metro Conference championship.

Damian Atwater scored from five, 67 and 25 yards, the first one coming after Mike Settles blocked a punt as 10th-ranked McNamara took a huge lead and never looked back in stunning the No. 9 Lions, 33-14, at McNamara.

"We felt this game would determine the conference champion so we had to play well. In our minds, Carroll was the only team that could beat us but we made the plays today," said linebacker Settles, who in addition to his blocked punt had more than a dozen tackles and four sacks. "We won today but we still have two left {against St. John's and Good Counsel}. We can't have a letdown now."

The hosts' sixth consecutive win improved their overall record to 7-1 and conference record to 4-0. The Lions fell to 6-2, 4-1.

Carroll Coach Tim Breslin, whose team had won four straight games and yielded only 13 points in the last three, was extremely disappointed with his team's showing. Tailbacks Robert Harris and Silas Calhoun combined for less than 50 yards and quarterback George McDaniels passed for 125 yards. The senior was sacked eight times.

"They did some new things defensively we weren't ready for," Breslin said. "And their run-and-shoot offense is tough to defend against when you have only a week to prepare."

The Mustangs put Carroll in the hole early as Settles blocked a punt on the visitors' initial possession at the Lions 24. Atwater picked up the loose ball at the 5 and scored easily.

While Carroll sputtered offensively, the Mustangs were picking up yards in bunches. Eleven plays covered eight yards or more, the longest being a 67-yard run by Atwater on a shovel pass from quarterback Junior Bynum to make it 14-0 with 4:42 to play in the first half.

On McNamara's first second-half possession, Bynum needed only four plays to drive 55 yards for a touchdown. Bynum threw a screen pass to Asim Penny for a 39-yard gain before going over from the 2 to make it 20-0.

Later in the period Bynum hooked up with Penny for a 28-yard gain to the Carroll 18. Atwater did the rest, shaking off would-be tacklers on a dash up the middle and McNamara led, 26-0.