Words: Mike Moore
On Friday, September 6th, the Centennial football team opened its season on the road against the Reservoir Gators with a convincing 28-7 win.
Things got off to a rough start for the Eagles when they fumbled the ball on the opening kickoff. However, the defense turned it around when Chase Conley recovered a fumble to give the Eagles the ball back. The offense put together a good first drive that included a big gain through the air when Damon Reaves caught a nice pass from Tyler Morris that later set up a Walter Fletcher touchdown run to give the Eagles the 7-0 lead.
The defense continued to play very well, as defensive leaders Kade Conner, Connor Marcinek, and Tyler Boettcher helped lead their defense to a good first half, leaving the Gators scoreless at halftime. The offense continued to make progress through the air and ground game including back-to-back big runs by Fletcher until a turnover with 2:16 left in the 2nd quarter stopped their progress. However, the defense stood tall when Michael Price made a big 3rd down tackle with 1:31 in the half to give the Eagles another shot to put more points on the board before halftime. Price made a key play on the offensive end when he caught another good pass from Morris, leading into a big play from Fletcher, who broke away for a long touchdown run to give the Eagles the 14-0 halftime lead.
The Gators came out of halftime and scored on a 70-yard touchdown run in the beginning of the drive to pull within a touchdown. The Eagles would respond quickly and hard when on the ensuing kickoff, Reaves broke free and ran 75 yards to the end zone to give the Eagles a 21-7 lead, and a huge momentum boost. The defense continued to deny the Gators points, while the running game continued to be effective. Linemen Kody Clark, John Kolp, Connor Marcinek, and Kade Conner helped open up the running lanes for Price and Fletcher, who continued to gain quality yardage from the ground game.
Fletcher scored another big touchdown in the fourth to make it 28-7. The defense would continue to get it done and didn’t let the Gators score again, sealing the victory for the Eagles. Fletcher had 162 yards rushing on 16 carries, while Tyler Morris went 10/15 with 164 yards in the air.
With a performance like this, against a good opponent, the season could be looking up for this senior-laden squad. The Eagles will host the Oakland Mills Scorpions this coming Thursday at 7pm.