Douglass and 17th-ranked Laurel combined for 195 yards in penalties yesterday. However, the bruising defensive effort of Douglass left a more memorable impression in the Prince George's 3A/2A game at Laurel.

Douglass gave up 110 yards on penalties and punted nine times, but the Eagles intercepted three passes and halted three scoring drives inside the 30 to down previously unbeaten Laurel, 8-0.

"We know that we have a real good defense," said senior linebacker Troy Charney, who intercepted a pass from William Griffin to set up the Eagles' lone touchdown drive. "The last two games we just barely missed shutouts, so we said that we wanted to come out here today and get a shutout . . . and our defense did the job."

Both teams are 8-1 overall, 7-1 in the league. Since there is no tie-breaking system, they might end up co-champions.

But this game increased the Eagles' confidence as they prepare for the playoffs. "We knew that we had a good team, but we didn't know how good we were," said Charney. "We knew that this was going to be tough because Laurel was unbeaten. It came down to this game and we came out and did what we had to do."

The Eagles' punishing defense was the backbone of this victory, but the offense deserves credit for the touchdown.

Early in the second quarter, Charney intercepted at the Eagles' 20 and returned the ball to the 25.

Dave Fant skirted to the 38 on a sweep to the outside. After a penalty, quarterback Errick Douglas sprinted 10 yards and pitched back to halfback Truman Washington, who ran an additional 44 yards before defensive back Jeff Sweitzer dragged him down at the 11. Washington's right leg was broken on the play, and he was taken to the hospital during the game.

Four plays later Douglas reached the end zone on a sneak. Fant ran in the conversion to make it 8-0.

Laurel opened the second half with an effective drive, moving from its 30 to the Eagles' 24 in eight plays. However, on fourth and four, Tony Pierce was stopped for a two-yard loss.

"Our defense has been our strong point all season," said Douglass senior linebacker Damier Gross.

"We haven't allowed more than 20 points in our last five games. They came out a little strong in the third quarter, but we picked it back up."