MARIETTA, Ga. — After three games, Centennial’s fortunes weren’t looking great in head coach Michael Perry’s debut season.
The Knights opened the season final-minute losses to Wheeler and region opponent Alpharetta. They were also dominated by South Forsyth.
But when their regular season came to a close Friday night, their inauspicious start was well behind them.
The Knights had reeled off seven straight wins and locked themselves into the playoffs.
Their 45-17 drubbing of Pope was their fifth straight game scoring 45 or more points. It was the fourth straight game they had given up 17 points or less. And, it secured their second straight trip to the postseason.
Centennial’s offense used scoring rushes from four players and two touchdown passes from Max Brosmer to Blane Mason in the win over the Greyhounds. Julian Nixon, Emeka Nwanze, Bromser and Cal Dickie all scored on the ground.
Centennial led 21-3 midway through the second quarter after Blane Mason’s 62-yard touchdown reception. Pope responded with a nine-play, 80-yard drive to cut the lead to 21-10, but Centennial quickly responded. A 38-yard reception from Mason set up an 8-yard rushing score from Brosmer.
Pope then kept the Knight’s halftime lead close with a 46-yard touchdown pass into double coverage with 18 seconds remaining. But it would be the last points the Knights allowed.
The Brosmer-Mason show got going again early in the third as the duo connected for gains of 30 and 25 yards on two consecutive plays, the latter putting Centennial up 35-17.
Centennial’s defense held Pope to three three-and-outs in the second half while the Knights offense continued to roll.
A 77-yard rush by Dickie from Centennial’s own 1-yard line set up a Nicky Solomon field goal. Dickie would score early in the fourth to ice the game.
Though wins from Alpharetta and Chattahoochee on Friday eliminated the Knights from region championship contention, Centennial can still host a playoff game.
If Alpharetta beats Chattahoochee next Friday, the Knights will capture the No. 2 seed in Region 7-AAAAAA.