Spartans get the job done to go 3-0
It wasn’t pretty but Centennial was able to put away White Settlement Brewer in fourth quarter Friday as the Spartans defeated the Bears, 35-17, in a non-district game at Burleson ISD Stadium.
The Spartans (3-0) scored twice in the span one minute and 51 seconds to take a 21-17 advantage to an 18-point lead with just over five minutes to play. Centennial is off to its best start in the programs five-year varsity history.
Even though his team has won three straight, Centennial coach Kyle Geller isn’t resting on his laurels and can see numerous thing that needed to be tightened before District 9-5A play starts.
“There is a laundry list of things we need to work on,” Geller said. “There are plenty of things we have to clean up like penalties, we have to not fumble or give up first downs on penalties. The good thing is that we still have room to improve. We are just going to take it day by day.”
After being taking this Friday off, Centennial plays Sept. 23 at Crowley (2-1) to open 9-5A play. The Spartans have a two-game winning streak over the Eagles.
“It’s a good thing (to be 3-0) but we really have to get better,” Geller said. “We can’t keep making the same mistakes we have been making. We have to be hungry in the off-week to get better because the way our district is shaping up we have some tough competition coming at us early.”
After playing Crowley, the Spartans host Cleburne (2-1) on Sept. 30 for homecoming.
Centennial hurt itself Friday night with seven penalties and a pair of turnovers.
But the Spartans overcame their troubles and responded when they needed to in the fourth quarter.
After Brewer (1-2) cut Centennial’s lead to 21-17 early the fourth quarter on a 54-yard run by Curtis Taylor, the Spartans battled through a pair of penalties and a third-and-long to take an 11-point lead.
Centennial seemed to have things going its way when Payton Strambler hit tight end Hunter Tauch for a 33-yard gain to convert a third-and-13 but a holding penalty nullified the play. Facing a third-and-23 at the Spartans 18, Strambler hooked up with Xander Richards, down the far sideline, for a 52-yard gain.
“That was a huge play.” Geller said. “We had called that earlier in the game and Xander didn’t get the signal right. Xander is a really good talent. We could have gotten the ball to him a couple of more times if we had protected Payton better.”
Six plays later, Strambler plowed in from a yard out for a 28-17 lead with 7:13 to play.
Less than two minutes later, Strambler rumbled in from seven yards out to put the game away at 35-17. The score was set up by a blocked punt.
Strambler had a good night throwing the ball. The senior completed 5 of 9 passes for 165 yards. The Spartans offense finished with 444 yards on 46 plays (9.6 yards per play). Strambler rushed for 63 yards on 18 attempts and scored three times.
Centennial was able to establish its fullback Friday night. Darrel Williams, who scored on a 79-yard run for a 14-0 first quarter lead, carried three times for 86 yards. Kevan Romero rushed for 73 yards on six attempts. Shayne Streminski saw his first action of the season and Jonathan Farris also ran the ball at fullback.
“Right now our fullback situation is a good problem to have,” Geller said. “I have four guys that each bring something different to the table. I’ll tell you the ones who protect the football are going to be the first ones to play.”
Receiving wise, Williams caught one pass from 65 yards while Richards had two catches for 56 yards and Blake Birdwell had two receptions for 44 yards.
Brewer scored 10 unanswered first half points to cut the lead to 14-10 at halftime.
After Centennial’s defense stopped Brewer on the first possession of the first half, Strambler engineered a 12-play (all runs), 62-yard scoring drive. Streminski capped the march with a two-yard run for his first score of the year and 21-10 lead.
Brewer finished with 300 yards rushing. Taylor paced the Bears with 11 carries for 132 yards.