Everman hands Spartans a tough loss
When Centennial took a 50-47 lead with 2:26 to play on a flea-flicker it seemed that the first team to 50 was going to win Friday night.
But Everman had other plans.
The Bulldogs scored with 50 seconds to play on a 21-yard pass from Juan Davis to J.T. Clark to lift Everman to a 54-50 District 9-5A victory.
“You have to make a play when you have to make a play,” Centennial coach Kyle Geller said. “They made one more play than we did. I’m still proud of our effort tonight.”
Centennial (5-5, 4-3) had one last shot to win. The Spartans drove the ball to the Everman 20 with six seconds to play but quarterback Kyle Burns throw to David Robinson in the corner of the end zone fell short.
The victory gave Everman (7-3, 7-0) the district title and coach Dale Keeling his final regular season win. After leading the Bulldogs for 20 years. Keeling is retiring at the end of the season.
Centennial is slated to take on Mansfield Lake Ridge (9-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mansfield’s R.L. Anderson Stadium in a Class 5A Division I Region II bi-district playoff game. The Eagles went 7-0 in District 10-5A play to win the district title.
“I told the kids I’d much rather win next week than this week,” Geller said. “I’m going to purge this out in the morning after the kids come in to lift. I’m not going to feel bad because I really think our team is getting better in a lot of ways and I’m excited for the opportunity to play Lake Ridge.”
The Spartans took their last lead on a trick play. Facing and fourth-and-three, Burns threw a lateral to receiver David Robinson who lofted a pass to Jaylon Jackson for a 61-yard touchdown.
Centennial’s defense had no answer for Clark hauled in four touchdown passes. Clark nabbed 10 passes for 262 yards.
“We had two guys on him most of the night and he still made catches,” Geller said.
The Bulldogs used a pair of quarterbacks in the game and both were effective. Juan Davis completed seven-of-13 passes for 175 yards and four scores, while Antonio Little completed 6-of-12 passes for 120 and two scores.
The teams traded scores in the first half and,with a minute to play, Centennial held a 28-26 lead. Then disaster struck when Everman’s Sir Dexter Gay cut through and caught a Burns pitch in midair then raced 18 yards to the end zone. Gay’s touchdown put the Bulldogs up 34-28 at halftime.
“Their outside linebacker made a good play. He came underneath a lead block and just made a heck of a play,” Geller said.
In the first half, Centennial got scores on a 3-yard run by Chris Mosely, a 28-yard pass from Burns to Jackson, a 26-yard run by Burns and an 11-yard run by Jackson.
In the second half, Burns put the Spartans up 35-34 with 5:22 to play in the third quarter with a 15-yard run.
Everman started a 20-point fourth-quarter outburst with a four-yard run by Kenneth Johnson that gave the Bulldogs a 40-35 lead. The Spartans regained the lead when Burns raced into the end zone from five yards out. After a two-point conversion pass from Burns to Kelton Tezeno, Centennial held a 43-40 lead.
The Bulldogs answered right back with Davis hitting James Brooks for an 11-yard score and 47-43 lead.
Centennial’s next possession ended with Robinson’s touchdown pass to Jackson for the Spartans final lead of the game.
Jackson finished the game with 144 yards of combined offense and three scores. Burns carried 23 times for 114 yards and three scores. The junior quarterback completed 5-of-12 passes for 96 yards and touchdown.
“Kyle ran the offense well,” Geller said. “I’m proud of the way he has progressed over the last three weeks.”
Centennial’s running game tallied 310 yards on 50 attempts. Darrell Williams rushed for 59 yards on five carries. Mosely ran for 54 yards and a touchdown on seven attempts. Jackson carried four times for 44 and a score.