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Cougars claim first ever win over Brentwood

Brentwood quarterback Aaron Maher (1) looks for a receiver while trying to elude Centennial's Nick Hall (54) early in Centennial's 31-20 over the Bruins last night.
Photo by Becky Williams

Deon Sanders rushed 26 times for 191 yards-in the second half-and a Centennial defense that had allowed over 400 yards a game rushing cut that in half as the Cougars (1-2, 1-0) grabbed the school’s first win ever over Brentwood (0-3, 0-1)  31-20 last night.

Centennial's Deon Sanders (2) slides past teammate Eli Katina's (68) block of Brentwood's Jon H. White (85) enroute to six of his 326 yards Friday night in the Cougar's 31-20 over the Bruins.  Photo by Becky Williams
Centennial coach Brian Rector gets clarification from a TSSAA official during the Cougar's 31-20 win over Brentwood Friday night. Photo by Becky Williams
The Centennial student section was expecting something special when the Cougars met Brentwood Friday night. They were not disappointed as Centennial captured the school's first ever win over the Bruins, 31-20. Photo by Daniela Corry
Sanders ended the night with 312 yards on 42 carries and scoring runs of 1, 14 and 58 yards, with two other scoring runs more than 60 yards negated by penalties.

“We made history.  It’s beautiful,” said a near exhausted Sanders after the game.  “We run a short pass game that opens it up for me and I’m blessed with an O-line that I’m very proud of tonight.”

His last score, a 58-yard run that started up the middle before he cut to the outside, put the Cougars up 28-20 with 9:50 left in the ballgame.

“I just kept thinking after I made the cut, ‘Man, you better not get caught from behind.’”

The contest was won in the trenches, with praise not only from the running back but also head coach Brian Rector.

“Number 2 (Sanders) had a great night, but the numbers that were really on our minds were 78 (Collin Crawford), 68 (Eli Katina), 72 (Jansen Fuller), 60 (Wes Drewery), 74 (Nathan Wilkinson) and 98 (TE Dylan Phillips).  Those big guys up front did an amazing job.”

Bad news started early for Brentwood as senior quarterback Aaron Maher took the Bruins downfield on the opening drive only to have Tyrel Dodson step in front of his fourth pass of the night at the Centennial 40 and carry it back to the Brentwood 22 yard line.  Sanders pounded over from the one five plays later.
Eighteen seconds later, Maher handed off to John Robertson who hit the right edge and never looked back, tying the contest on an untouched 80-yard run barely four minutes into the contest.

A 69-yard drive, capped by a Owen Roth 1-yard sneak, gave Centennial a 14-7 lead at half-time.

Brentwood attempted an on-side kick to open the second half, but Tyler Davis smothered it at the Centennial 48.  Sanders ran the ball eight times in the nine-play drive, closing it with 14-yard touchdown run to put the Cougars up 21-7.

As Centennial continued to call Sanders number, Brentwood coach Mike Woodward kept calling on Maher and Austin Wells.  The pair carried the ball a combined 27 times, gaining 107 yards.

Wells scored twice in the second half, first from 18 yards out with less than a minute to play in the third quarter and then from 13 yards out just 14-seconds into the fourth quarter after a Hunter Anderson interception.  A missed extra point left Centennial ahead 28-20.

Junior kicker Nick Madonia closed the door on the Bruins with a 29-yard field goal with just 1:09 left in the game for the final margin.

The frustration of a third loss to open the season was visible on Bruin coach Mike Woodward’s face and mind after the game.

Brentwood's Austin Wells (23) fights for as much yardage as possible despite the best efforts of Centennial's B.J. Griffin (4) and Bryce Whitman (57) among others. Photo by Becky Williams
“It’s not enough to say we played hard and it was a great game.  We made countless mistakes, turning the ball over on offense, having the ball on the ground and not getting to it. 

“We’ve got value the football, we’ve got to stop the run defensively, we’ve got to be able to run the ball offensively.  We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

The work starts today as the Bruins prepare for a homecoming visit from undefeated Hendersonville (3-0, 2-0 in District 9-AAA) next Friday night.  The Cougars will be on the road at Clarksville (0-3, 0-1 in District 10-AAA).

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Posted on: 9/7/2013


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