Spartans hold on late
ARLINGTON - For 47 minutes, Centennial and Arlington Segiun traded offensive blows Thursday night.
But in the final minutes, the Spartans came up with a pair of defensive plays to preserve a 31-27 District 9-5A victory over the Cougars at Wilemon Field.
With Seguin at the Spartans 17, Centennial’s Andrew Walker sacked Cougars quarterback Mykelti Carelock for a 7-yard loss. After the Cougars grounded the ball on third down, Carelock lofted a fourth-down pass to the end zone only to have Centennial’s Jailon Freeman slap the ball away for the win.
With victory, Centennial (5-1, 2-1) builds momentum heading into next week’s showdown with Burleson. Seguin (4-2, 2-1) suffered its first 9-5A loss.
“That was a big, big win for us,” Centennial coach Kyle Geller said. “It must have been an exciting game for the fans. It was just a team effort. We did just enough to win.”
“We have Burleson next week and that is going to be another tough game. It’s just week to week you have to come to play.”
Centennial hosts Burleson (3-3, 2-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Hall of Fame/Boot Game at Burleson ISD Stadium.
“We have Burleson next week and that is going to be another tough game,” Geller said. “It’s just week to week you have to come to play.”
On a night when the Spartans passing attack wasn’t working, they stayed on the ground rushing for 341 yards and four scored on 341 yards.
“We talked at halftime (about them wearing down on defense),” Geller said. “We felt like they were getting tired. They were starting to lean over and put their hands on their knees. To our kids credit, they just kept after it. There would be times where they would blow us back and on the next play we would be right back on them.”
Junior fullback Darrell Williams paced the Spartans with 109 yards rushing on 16 attempts, including a 57-yard touchdown run.
“Darrell ran tough,” Geller said. “That was probably his best game running inside. He did a good job of running to after contact.”
Senior slot back Kelton Tezeno ran for 94 yards on six carries. Senior quarterback Payton Strambler scored on runs of 3 and 36 yards while rushing for 76 yards on 18 attempts.
Centennial’s other scores came on a 20-yard run by Jonathan Reed and a 39-yard field goal by Ryan Reid.
After its first possession of the game, Seguin changed quarterbacks bringing in Carelock, a sophomore receiver, to run the offense. Carelock proved hard to contain as he scored on runs of 19, 10 and 80 yards. The sophomore rushed for 219 yards on 20 carries and completed 12-of-16 passes for 166 yards.
While Carelock was chewing up yards, the Centennial’s defense held the rest of Seguin’s ball carriers to 16 yards on 14 attempts.
After Carelock broke free for an 80-yard score that sliced the Spartans lead to 24-20 with 6:33 to play in the third quarter, Centennial put together its longest drive of the season. The Spartans ran 10:53 off the clock while marching 80 yards on 18 plays. But Centennial came up with nothing to show for the drive when Reid’s 26-yard field goal was blocked.
Seven plays, later Vertis Garrett scored from five yards out to give Seguin a 27-24 lead with 4:50 to play.
The Spartans took the lead back at 31-27 with 3:40 left when Strambler capped a three-play, 64-yard drive with a 36-yard run where he took on most of the Cougars’ defenders on the way to the end zone.
Seguin nearly scored on its next play from scrimmage but Tezeno was able to swat away a touchdown pass at the Spartans 40. Eleven plays later, Freeman broke up another pass to secure the victory.