By: David Wells
For more than one reason, Centennial’s 28-7 victory over Summit High School was a big victory for the Cougars, but you wouldn’t know it talking to head coach Brian Rector.
Even though Centennial (3-2, 2-0 District 11-AAA) outplayed the Spartans (1-4, 0-2) in almost every phase, Rector’s mind after the game was firmly focused on the early mistakes that cost Centennial a greater margin of victory.
“I felt that we left a lot of plays out there that we should have had in terms of missed tackles or dropped balls or missed opportunities in passes,” he said. “Obviously, we had two fumbles in the first half that basically cost us 14 points
Already up 7-0 early in the second quarter, Centennial had a 2nd-and-9 on the Summit 15 when Bailey Wisniowski fumbled the ball on the 1-yard line.
Summit quarterback Dee Hunter led the Spartans down the field 99 yards, capping it off with a 40-yard touchdown run that tied the game 7-7.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Wisniowski erased his earlier mistake by scoring a 65-yard return touchdown and giving Centennial a 14-7 lead.
From that point onward, it was all Centennial. While Summit was able to convert two fourth downs—including a 20-yard fake punt run by Philip Shearry—the Spartans were unable to capitalize.
Hunter had an abysmal passing night for Summit, completing just 6 of his 14 passes for 36 yards and three interceptions. On the ground, however, the senior had a lot more success; he carried the ball 25 times for 119 yards and the Spartans’ lone touchdown.
Centennial running back Deon Sanders carried the ball 19 times for 173 yards and a touchdown, while receiver Emmanuel Hall caught four passes for 61 yards and carried the ball twice for 95 yards.
Hall praised the offense for putting together solid plays throughout the night, such as his 84-yard touchdown run that put Centennial up 7-0 early.
“I mean, my team was absolutely executing,” he said. “They came out and blocked hard, and the hole was just open.”
By putting up 413 yards on just 44 plays, the Cougar offense paved the way for Centennial to win its third straight game and remain undefeated in the District as it returns home next week to play Mt. Juliet High School.
Meanwhile, Summit falls to 1-4 and will travel to Stewarts Creek.