Extreme Escape Games Game of the Week
BY: ZACH HARMUTH | PHOTOS: KINDELL MOORE
Centennial running back Zyon Lee embraced the wetness and mud that covered his home turf Friday night.
The Cougars leaned on the senior’s physicality to secure a 27-17 win over Region 7-5A foe Brentwood.
Lee finished with 239 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries. However, he and his fellow running backs, who put up 371 of the Cougars’ 387 yards on offense, couldn’t have done it without their offensive line.
“Our line won the game for us,” Cougars head coach Matt Kreisky said. “We knew the key coming in was to play physically, and we did that.”
The Bruins (4-4, 3-2), who struggled offensively with only 141 total yards, felt the same way from the other side of the coin.
“Their line really opened up some holes for their backs,” Brentwood head coach Ron Crawford. “We have to focus on doing lot of things better. We will practice hard this week.”
With the win, Centennial sits secured with a first- or second-place finish in the region with two games left in the regular season, while Brentwood needs one win to make the postseason as a fourth seed.
Brentwood’s Tucker Day booted a 34-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead two minutes into the game.
A punts back-and-forth, the Cougars, gaining traction with Lee handling most of the work, knocked out a 64-yard drive that ended with a 28-yard Andrew Knight field goal to tie the game three minutes into the second frame..
The next three drives ended with quick punts, before Centennial got the ball back on its own 20 with a little more than a minute left in the half.
Centennial quarterback Tre Stewart (2-6, 16 yards passing, INT) flipped the ball to Lee, who tore down the sideline for an 80-yard touchdown.
Knight extended the advantage to 13-3 with a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Brentwood’s second possession of the second half didn’t come until barely four minutes remained in the third quarter, but it put it right back in the game.
Struggling to throw the ball all night, Brentwood began having success with scrambles by quarterback Carson Shacklett.
He had several key first down runs and a 1-yard touchdown run on the possession that ended the third quarter to cut Centennial’s lead down to 13-9 (missed PAT).
However, once again, Lee carried the Cougars on the ensuing drive. A key conversion on fourth-and-2 kept the drive alive, and then several man-sized runs later he carried half the Bruins defense into the end zone with him on a 4-yard run that gave the Cougars a 20-9 lead halfway through the fourth quarter.
“The field got better as the night went on, and I was just running through the holes the line made,” Lee said. “It was all because of them.”
For good measure, after a turnover on downs, the Cougars took over in Brentwood territory and quickly ran down to score on a 4-yard avalanche by Matt Thurston for a 27-10 lead.
Brentwood also scored again, on another Shacklett run with 0:45 left to make the final score 27-17.
The Bruins host region foe Henry County (7-2, 5-0) Friday, while Centennial plays Rossview.
The Cougars will take on Henry County for the region title in the season finale.