Cougars canít shake big plays, drops home opener to Overton 26-12
By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
Photos Courtesy of Daniela Corry
A tough opening week game in Clarksville spilled over into the home opener for Centennial (0-2, 0-0) as the Cougars dropped a 26-12 decision to Nashville Overton last night.
Already young in key positions, the Cougars entered the field obviously depleted by early season injuries as at least ten players were inactive due to a variety of football pains, including potential all-state receiver Emanuel Hall.
The loss of speed showed early as Overton’s Justin Martin scored three of the four Bobcat touchdowns on runs of 62, 80, and 28 yards on the way to amassing 232 yards on the ground in just 11 carries. He added a fourth score on an 80-yard kick-off return following a Nick Madonia field goal.
“Four big plays and a man’s dancing in the end zone and we’re watching his back,” said Cougar coach Brian Rector. “Speed kills and we got killed by speed tonight.”
One thing that did not kill Centennial, though, was a determination to stay in the fight until the bitter end. Owen Roth hit Kevon Prince with an 18-yard touchdown pass as the horn sounded.
“They’re fightin’ and they’re going to get better and that’s what I’m concerned with right now. I’m much pleased with our effort and our ability to stick with it.”
“That is what Coach Rector preached all week in practice,” said standout senior center Wes Drewery, “not giving up. And you saw that. Guys talking each other up, the defense putting eleven guys on the ball most of the time. We’re just going to keep fighting.”
With the exception of the Martin’s feats, the game was a bruising, equal contest. Owen Roth stepped in at quarterback and seemed to establish a rhythm as Centennial continues to seek an identity in the field general’s spot.
“I was very pleased with Owen’s performance tonight,” said Rector. “He made some smart decisions. Physically, he is going to so much better. He’s just a junior and I thought he understood the game and managed it pretty well tonight.”
Roth hit 14-of-28 for 124 yards and a touchdown officially, but the total could have been better as several spot-on passes were dropped by young players. Senior Bailey Wisniowski continued his streak of multiple reception games, grabbing six passes for 74 yards as Roth’s favorite target.
On the ground, Deon Sanders was again the workhorse of the offense, carrying the ball 26 times for 106 yards. He got relief from Wisniowski (5 carries, 32 yards) and B.J. Griffin (5 carries, 39 yards).
The Cougars will have to put the two opening games behind them to get ready for their opening District 11-AAA game next Friday night at home against Brentwood. Both teams will enter the contest 0-2 on the season, but undefeated in the district. Rector is ready.
“We have to be mature and focus on Brentwood so we can have a shot at winning. They are a good football team. They have faced two very good football teams. We have faced two very good football teams. I think it’ll be a pretty good game.”
Posted on: 8/31/2013