Words: Michael Moore
Contributor: Giana Han
On Saturday, Oct. 12, the Centennial Eagles took the field for a homecoming showdown against the Atholton Raiders.
The Raiders received first possession and marched down the field, only to have their drive halted by senior Damon Reaves, who picked off a pass in the end zone to give the Eagles possession less than three minutes into the game.
The ensuing drive by the Eagles was fueled by a 30-yard pass to Quinn Western from Tyler Morris. That play helped to set up a touchdown run by Walter Fletcher, to put Centennial up 7-0.
The next offensive possession by Atholton would again end with an interception by Reaves.
“I’d felt I hadn’t been playing to my full capacity,” said Reaves. “It [felt] really good to come out and get two picks. I felt the momentum shift.”
The Eagles would capitalize on this opportunity less than a minute later, with Fletcher reaching the end zone for a second straight possession. 14-0 Centennial led after one quarter of play.
The run game worked well for Centennial, with Fletcher, Western and Logan Tignall consistently getting positive yards on every carry. The offensive line was also a big part of the success.
“[The] line did a good job. Anytime the back has a lot of yards, that means they’re doing their job,” head coach Todd Kriner said of the line’s performance.
The offense didn’t use just the running game to score, Morris found senior Chase Conley through the air to increase their lead to 21-0.
After an interception near the end of the half, the Eagles once again destroyed any momentum the Raiders had when sophomore Austin Kraisser came down with interception to end the half.
The second half was more of the same for the Eagles as they continued to use their potent running game to their advantage, and their solid defense to keep Atholton from scoring.
The last scores of the game would come in the fourth quarter when Fletcher found the end zone for the third time, and Sam Reichenthal kicked a 35-yard field goal.
Reichenthal also contributed to the game by going 4/4 on extra point attempts. The game ended in a shut out with a final score of 31-0.
This was a big win for the seniors on the team, since they had never won a homecoming game up to this point. “[The win] feels good. [Because] we worked hard this summer to get here,” Fletcher said. Fletcher finished the day with 195 yards on 31 carries and three touchdowns. Morris was 5/8 on passing attempts for 81 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Conley had 38 receiving yards on two catches and one touchdown.
The win puts the Eagles at 5-1 on the year. Their next game is at Howard High School on Oct. 18.