Total team effort pushes Centennial over Mt. Juliet 38-24
By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
Centennial kicker Nick Madonia had 8 points in the Cougar's 38-24 win over Mt. Juliet, including a 39-yard field goal in the third quarter. Photo by Becky Williams
Centennial rolled up over 450 yards of total offense, rolled to a three touchdown lead then held on to stop Mount Juliet 38-24 last night. The home win moved the Cougars to 4-2 overall.
Deon Sanders (2) had 176 yards and three touchdowns in the Cougars' 38-24 win over Mount Juliet. Sanders has surpassed the 1,000 yard mark for the season. Photo by Becky Williams
Mt Juliet's Peyton Haynes (16) sits alone forlornly as the final seconds tick off the clock Fridaynight at Centennial. Haynes' Golden Bears dropped a 38-24 decision to the Cougars.
Photo by Becky Williams
“We needed this,” said Cougar head coach Brian Rector, “especially heading into the rest of our games that are district contests. The momentum helps, the confidence helps.”
The contest looked like it going to be an arena ball type game, with Centennial taking the opening drive 56-yards in less than three-and-a-half minutes to a score when Deon Sanders rambled in from the 24. Mt. Juliet answered just 21-seconds later on 47-yard sweep around right end to tie the game at 7-7 after less than four minutes.
Two minutes later, Centennial’s B.J. Griffin took the snap out of the wildcat formation, made three extreme cuts that baffled the Golden Bear defense and walked into the end zone from 44-yards out to return the lead to the Cougars, 14-7.
“I know this: we obviously had some pretty good let-downs defensively in the first and fourth quarter. Ultimately we were able to get the win, but obviously we should have been able to put this one away earlier.”
The Cougars took a 28-10 lead into the locker room at the half and extended the lead to 31-10 on a Nick Madonia 39-yard field goal in the third, the only score of the quarter.
That lead got chopped quickly in the fourth. The Bears Kyle Smith got loose down the right sideline to start the fourth quarter, sprinting 45 yards to cut the lead to 31-17. After blocking a 40-yard field goal attempt, Alex Landis found a streaking Patrick Cartmell on a 55-yard fly pattern that left the Bears trailing by only seven points with 3:43 left to play.
Seeing their three score lead cut to one, the Centennial offense refocused, giving the ball Deon Sanders six times in eight plays. Sanders scored his third rushing TD of the night on a two-yard run, carrying a pair of Golden Bears across the line.
Mt. Juliet’s last gasp effort was stopped with :11 seconds left when Kevon Prince picked Landis off at the Mount Juliet 40.
Sanders continued to be the work horse for Centennial, finishing with 176 yards on 25 carries. Much of that yardage came from an offensive line that opened holes for all the backs all night long.
“The offensive line did a fantastic job. I’m proud of each and every one of them,” Sanders said after the game. “I’m speechless right now the way they performed tonight.”
Sanders got relief carrying the ball, too, with the emergence of B.J. Griffin. Running mainly out of the wildcat set, Griffin tallied 95 yards and a touchdown on 8 carries.
“B.J. had his best game of the year and I’m really proud of B.J.,” said Rector. “He sees things phenomenally well and he really showed some athleticism and speed tonight.”
The ground game almost overshadowed the aerial attack by Owen Roth. The first year quarterback hit 10-of-13 for 156 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown connection with Emanuel Hall. Hall caught five passes for 113 yards in the game.
Centennial gets little rest as, like the rest of the county, the Cougars hit the meat of the district schedule next week, hosting Ravenwood.
Centennial's Deon Sanders (2) carries two Mt Juliet defenders across the line for the final score of the night as the Cougars captured a 38-24 victory. Photo by Joe Hicks
Posted on: 9/28/2013