Burns helps Spartans singe Tigers
CORSICANA - Kyle Burns first game back following an injury that knocked him out of Centennial’s playoff game last season was a thing of beauty.
The senior led the Spartans on four scoring drives, led the squad in rushing and completed all six of his passes in a 28-26 non-district win at Corsicana Friday night.
Burns carried 21 times for 127 yards and a touchdown and threw for 143 yards.
“It’s been a while,” Burns said. “It felt pretty good. The offense played well. We just have to limit the penalties.”
Centennial coach Kyle Geller had nothing but praise for Burns and execution of the offense Friday night.
“Kyle was a warrior tonight,” Geller said. “He didn’t play good, he played great. He distributed the ball, he threw it well, he ran tough and he made good reads. Golly, he was on.”
Burns and fellow senior David Robinson came up with the play of the night on what would become the final drive of the game.
With 4:05 to play, Corsicana cut Centennial’s advantage to 28-26 on a one-yard run by Cannon Moore.
The Tigers onside kick attempt failed but the Spartans struggled to move the ball and run out the clock.
Facing a third-and-17 at the Spartans 35 Burns dropped back and lobbed a pass down the left sideline that Robinson leapt up and caught for a 35-yard gain with just over two minutes to play.
“It’s was a go route and I just threw it up to David because I know he’s an athlete and would make the catch,” Burns said. “I trusted him over the cornerback and he came down with it. I knew he was going to pull it down.”
The game ended with Burns taking a knee with the ball on the Tigers 1.
The Spartans (1-0) scored on their first possession following a Corsicana fumble on the opening drive of the game. Jaylon Jackson gave Centennial a 7-0 lead with a 17-yard touchdown run.
Corsicana answered with a 73-yard, 14-play drive which quarterback Blake Huffman capped with a 1-yard sneak into the end zone. But the Tigers got greedy and attempted a hurry-up two-point conversion play that the Spartans stopped.
For the rest of the game, the Tigers seemed to be chasing that point.
Centennial pushed its advantage to 14-6 on the first play of the second half when Jackson raced into the end zone from 25 yards out. The three-play drive covered 85 yards.
On the first play of the possession, Burns hit Chris Mosely for a 54-yard gain.
The Spartans went up tempo on the first possession of the third quarter and it paid off with a 22-yard scoring scamper by Mosely. Centennial covered 74 yards in five plays to take what seemed to be a commanding 21-6 lead.
But Corsicana (0-1), which came into the game ranked 10th in Dave Campbell’s Class 5A preseason poll, wasn’t done.
The Tigers closed to within 21-19 with 9:38 to play thanks to a pair of touchdown runs by Dajioun Nathan. First, Nathan scored on an 11-yard run then he added a 9-yard touchdown.
Corsicana elected to kick the extra point following the first score but went for a two-point conversion after the second score but the Spartans stopped the attempt.
Holding a slim two-point lead, Burns led Centennial down the field again. This time the senior took his team on an 8-play, 52-yard march that he finished with a four-yard run.
The score gave the Spartans a 28-19 lead.
Burns shared the ball well Friday night.
Jeff Kirven gained 73 yards on 10 carries while Jackson ran the ball six times for 60 yards and two scores. Mosely scored once and carried four times for 58 yards. He also caught a pair of passes for 74 yards.
Going into the game, Centennial was worried about slowing Hoffman, who was a threat to run or pass. Hoffman ran for 103 yards and a score on 19 attempts. The senior completed 11 of 16 passes for 159.
Nathan had a good night for the Tigers carrying 17 times of 103 yard and two scores.
“We were able to keep him contained at times,” Geller said. “He hurt us on a couple of big plays when he scrambled. We knew what he could do and tried to practice it all week. The kid was good.”
Centennial is home Friday night facing Denison at 7:30 p.m.