• Centennial quarterback Payton Strambler fights for yardage during the Spartans’ 35-21 District 8-5A victory Friday at Granbury.  BURLESON STAR/CHRIS JASO

Kickoff return lifts Spartans

GRANBURY — Centennial football coach Kyle Geller said considering the way his team played in the second half of Friday’s District 9-5A game at Granbury, the Spartans’ newest player Logan Maddux might have come up with the play of a game.

When Granbury attempted an onside kick to open the second half, Maddux, who had been playing with the junior varsity last week, grabbed the ball and returned it 48 yards for touchdown.

Maddux’s heads up play gave the Spartans a 28-6 lead and they held on for a 35-21 victory that all but clinched Centennial’s third consecutive playoff berth.

“It’s a good thing he made that play because we didn’t play that will in the second half,” Geller said. “We seemed to be more interested in how we looked than how we played in the second half.”

Centennial (7-1, 4-1) hosts Joshua Friday and plays Nov. 4 at Everman to end the regular season. This is the third straight season the Spartans have won seven regular season games.

A win on Friday would cement a playoff berth and also give the Spartans the most regular season wins in the program’s five-year varsity history.

The contest could also be short one with both team’s running offenses meant to chew at the clock. The Owls (1-7, 0-5) are in the second year of running the Slot-T look. Geller said Joshua is a very physical team and the Spartans will need to make the most of each possession.

Geller was quick to remind his team that although they beat Joshua, 38-3, last season, only a late first-half field goal had the Spartans ahead 17-3 at halftime. Centennial is 4-0 all-time versus Joshua.

The Spartans played well in the first half building a 21-6 lead on touchdown runs by Payton Strambler of 33 and one yards while Kelton Tezeno scored a 13-yard run.

Granbury’s first-half touchdown came on 12-yard run by quarterback Kyler Young.

After Maddux gave the Spartans a 28-6 lead, Tezeno found the end zone on his second 13-yard scoring run of the game.

Centennial’s running game racked up 268 yards on 46 carries. Tezeno finished the game with 86 yards on six carries. Strambler and Darrell Williams each carried 16 times in the game. Williams ran for 68 yards and Strambler rushed for 58 yards.

The Pirates (2-6, 1-4) ran for 161 yards and Young threw for 158 yards. Young rushed for 87 yards on 17 attempts and Michael Mulholland carried 13 times for 74 yards. Mulholland also had seven receptions for 46 yards.

Granbury scored twice in the fourth quarter on an eight-yard run by Mulholland and Young’s 33-yard pass to Hunter Jones.

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Image: 
Centennial quarterback Payton Strambler fights for yardage during the Spartans’ 35-21 District 8-5A victory Friday at Granbury.  BURLESON STAR/CHRIS JASO