Spartans secure their spot in football playoffs
GUELPH – The Centennial Spartans clinched a berth in the District 10 high school football playoffs Thursday when they ran away from the Ross Royals for a 49-14 win at Ross.
“We definitely had some big plays today,” Centennial coach Zach Pollari said. “Again the things we were focusing on were staying disciplined and playing the football we believe we can play. We did expect Ross to give us a real tough game. They’re a good football team this year.”
The win puts the Spartans at 3-1 while Ross falls to 2-2. Centennial clinched a berth because the two teams tied at 1-2, the Lourdes Crusaders and St. James Lions, are playing each other Friday night and the loser won’t be able to finish in a tie with the Spartans.
Thursday, the Spartans used a few big plays, especially in the second quarter when they rallied from a four-point deficit to carry a 26-14 lead into halftime.
“We started well and the game was there and we just had some plays that didn’t go our way and we just kind of crumbled,” Ross coach Tim Mathewson said. “We got down and we had to go to our passing game and it’s not quite there as much as our run game. We’ve got to keep working on both those things.”
Most of the touchdowns in the game came off plays of 50 yards or more. Quarterback Daniel Brown scampered about 80 yards for Centennial’s first TD and his first of two in the game. Landon Leger, Zach Swenerton, Sam Taylor and Drake Davis also connected for touchdowns for Centennial while Ben Lane added three field goals and four converts.
“We did have a lot of big plays,” Pollari said. “I think part of it is credit to us working hard this week and really focusing on the little things that we’ve been emphasizing.”
“Their quarterback had some awesome runs and some really good thrown balls and they’re a good team,” Mathewson said of the Spartans. “They’ve improved throughout the year and that’s got to be our goal – improve the next two weeks and get better than they are.”
All of the scoring for Ross came in a wild second quarter. Niko Jean-Gaston and Max Nixon on a fake punt scored the TDs while Nixon converted both.
“We’ve just got to get better on offence and defence, too,” Mathewson said.
League play continues with the Fryday Night Lights doubleheader at Alumni Stadium. Guelph CVI Green Gaels are to play the Bishop Macdonell Celtics at 4 p.m. and the St. James Lions are to battle the Lourdes Crusaders at 7 p.m.
The regular season is to wrap up with a tripleheader at Alumni Stadium Oct. 19.
“We have to continue to work on our discipline and focusing on all the little details that sometimes teams can overlook,” Pollari said. “If we keep doing those things, we’ll stay competitive and hopefully good things will happen.”
- Guelph Sports Journal