Spartans down Joshua, wrap up playoff spot
JOSHUA — Things didn’t go well for Centennial on its first two possessions at Joshua Friday night.
But thanks to the Spartans’ defense, that pair of turnovers didn’t lead to points for the Owls.
Centennial bounced back from its foibles, scoring on three of its next four possessions to go up 21-7 at halftime. The Spartans went on to a 34-13 District 9-5A win that clinched a playoff berth.
“It was not a great start obviously,” Centennial football coach Kyle Geller said. “But we turned that around. We had eight possessions, scored on five and turned the ball over on the other three.
“We are pretty good when we do our stuff and don’t make mistakes, and we make it interesting when we do make mistakes.”
The Spartans (5-4, 4-2) are headed to the playoffs for the fourth-consecutive season. Centennial closes out the regular season Friday hosting Everman.
“I think that is the first time a team from Burleson has made the playoffs four years in a row,” Geller said. “That is a good thing. It shows consistency and progress. It’s been a roller coaster season. I’m just glad we punched our ticket tonight.”
As it did last week, Centennial’s running game did the majority of the damage. The Spartans rushed for 223 yards and four scores on 40 carries. Centennial didn’t produce a 100-yard rusher against the Owls, but did have seven runners tally over 38 yards on the ground.
Kelton Tezeno, who scored on a 19-yard run, led Centennial with four carries for 82 yards. Kyle Burns ran for 58 yards on 11 carries and scored on a one-yard run.
“Kyle played extremely well for the second consecutive week,” Geller said.
Chris Mosely had a big night, scoring on runs of 33 and 11 yards. He also caught a 13-yard scoring pass from Burns. Mosely rushed for 50 yards on four carries and caught two passes for 43 yards. Jaylon Jackson carried three times for 38 yards.
“Chris Mosley and Jaylon Jackson made some athletic plays tonight,” Geller said.
Centennial’s fullback trifecta had a good night. Kevan Romero carried eight times for 47 yards. Jeff Kirven finished with 44 yards on six carries, and Darrell Williams carried five times for 39 yards.
Trailing 14-0 following scoring runs by Tezeno and Mosley, the Owls (3-6, 1-5) turned the Spartans third turnover of the game into seven points.
Joshua quarterback Josh Kelso engineered an 11-play, 87-yard drive that would cut Centennial’s lead to 14-7 with 1:22 to play in the first half. Justis Chaney capped the march with a one-yard scoring run. The Owls didn’t attempt a pass on the drive. Running back Hayden Chittum did most of the damage carrying six times for 37 yards, while George Nunn broke off runs of seven and 17 yards.
“They have hurt everyone when they go to their short yardage package,” Geller said. “No one has really been able to slow them down.”
Centennial took the wind out from under the Owls wings by scoring with 27 seconds remaining in the second quarter when Mosely broke free for a 27-yard score. The Spartans covered 47 yards on four plays.
Just when it seemed the Owls might score on the opening possession of the second half, Da’Quan Campbell made a leaping interception at the goal line to halt Joshua’s drive. Centennial took advantage of the turnover to take a 28-7 lead when Burns scored from a yard out.
Joshua answered on its next drive to cut the lead to 28-14 when Kelso found Ryan Heckman open in the back of the end zone for a 15-yard score that converted a fourth-and-10.
Centennial finished off the scoring when Burns hit Mosely with a swing pass which turned into a 13-yard score that put the Spartans up 34-13.