• Centennial's Kelton Tezeno hauls in an interception during Friday's 35-14 win over Birdville Courtesy Photo/Roy Hiatt Photography

Tezeno helps Spartans move to 2-0 in 35-14 win over Birdville

After sitting out the final 8:22 of the first half with an injury, Centennial senior Kelton Tezeno made up for lost time in the second half of the Spartans non-district home-opener with Birdville Friday.

On the second play of the second half, Tezeno took a pitch and raced 77 yards for a score that gave the Spartans a 21-14 lead. Centennial went on to a 35-14 victory to improve to 2-0 this season.

The Spartans host White Settlement Brewer Friday in their final non-district game.

Darrel Williams gave the Spartans a 28-14 lead on Centennial’s next possession with a 70-yard scoring run.

Tezeno’s other offensive touch in the second half resulted in a 54-yard score. The senior also made an impact on defense with a pair of second-half interceptions. Both nabs came inside the Spartans 5-yard line on long passes.

Centennial finished the game with 579 yards of offense on 57 plays. The Spartans averaged 10.2 yards per play. Centennial ran the ball 53 times for 526 yards.

Tezeno led the Spartans carrying five times for 162 yards and two scores. Quarterback Payton Strambler, who scored once, rushed for 128 yards on 13 carries. Williams ran the ball 13 times of 98 yards.

Going into the game, Centennial coach Kyle Geller said the offense needed to establish its tailback on the inside running game. Three Spartans tailbacks combined for 168 yards on 25 attempts (6.7 yards per carry).

Centennial built a 14-0 lead in the first half on a Blake Birdwell nine-yard touchdown run and a five-yard scoring scamper by Stambler.

Birdville answered back with a 13-yard pass from Clayon Beeter to Xavier Beasley that sliced Centennial’s lead to 14-7.

The Spartans next possession saw Centennial move the ball to the Birdville 7 on eight plays surviving three fumbles along the way. On the ninth play of the drive, the Spartans luck ran out when Jonathan Reed lost a fumble at the Hawks 3.

Birdville turned the fumble into a 16-play, 97-yard scoring drive capped by a three-yard run by Clayton Beeter with 26 seconds to play in the first half. Beeter finished the game with 13 carries while for 128 yards while running back Isaiah Weatherspoon ran for 145 yards on 20 attempts.

After a 47-yard kickoff return by Williams put the ball at the Birdville 43, Strambler hit Xander Richards for a 40-yard gain but Richards fumbled the ball away.


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Centennial's Kelton Tezeno hauls in an interception during Friday's 35-14 win over Birdville Courtesy Photo/Roy Hiatt Photography