By JUSTIN ANDERSON | Photos by KINDELL BUCHANAN
A last-minute touchdown pushed the Centennial Cougars (4-5) to a 34-30 upset victory at Summit (7-2) Friday.
After the Spartans took a 30-27 lead with 1:35 left in the game, Centennial utilized a 68-yard drive that was capped off by a 17-yard, game-winning touchdown run by quarterback Tre Stewart with 35 seconds remaining.
“These kids fight hard, they keep fighting and keep coming back,” Centennial head coach Matt Kriesky said. “We have a chance to host a home playoff game and that’s what our goal is. Our coaches and players have done a tremendous job and I’m so proud of our team.”
Centennial, which recently suffered a 50-10 loss against Hillsboro, can clinch the No. 1 seed in Region 6-AAA with a win at Brentwood and an Independence loss at Ravenwood next week. Summit already has already captured the Region 5-5A title.
Centennial running back Jariel Wilson torched Summit for 211 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries.
“This was a great team win for us,” Wilson stated. “You know, the one thing about this team is, we don’t care what happened the week before. Every week is a new week for us and that was our mindset tonight.”
Despite losing starting running back Tai Carter to an ankle injury on the first drive of the game, the Spartans managed to rack up 425 rushing yards on 57 carries.
Summit running back Peyton Craig scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and George Odimegwu rushed for a 46-yard score to take a 14-0 lead with five minutes left in the opening frame.
That’s when the Cougars took control of the game. They outscored the Spartans 27-6 the next three quarters.
The Cougars totaled 240 yards on the ground.
Summit led 20-13 at the half, but Centennial gained all of the momentum coming out of the break.
After a Summit fumble, Wilson went 50 yards to the house to tie it up.
On the very next possession, the Cougars blocked a Summit punt and turned it into points on another Wilson touchdown run, giving the Cougars their first lead of the night.
The Spartans answered with a short touchdown run by Craig to tie the game at 27 with 8:20 remaining in the contest.
Odimegwu finished with 196 rushing yards on 18 carries, while Craig had 181 rushing yards on 26 carries.