Good teams usually figure out a way to win ballgames.
For the second consecutive week, Centennial’s football team proved that saying.
The Bulldogs were flat on offense once again Thursday night, but they found strength in other areas, including their defense and special teams to beat visiting Foothill 24-17 in overtime.
“These guys just stuck together and found a way to get it done,” Centennial coach Leon Evans said. “It wasn’t pretty, but they all put it together. It was a team effort. There wasn’t much (offense), but once again, that’s what we ask our defense to do — bail us out. We’re not playing well offensively, and the guys (on defense) have come through for us.”
No. 4 Centennial (2-0) started the game off with a bang, thanks to senior Brandan Harley. For a moment there, it looked like the Bulldogs were going to thump the Falcons, who lost 41-0 to Desert Hills (Utah) last week.
Harley, who finished with 90 yards rushing and 32 yards receiving, scored on a 68-yard reverse run just 22 seconds into the game to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.
Foothill (0-2) then answered with 10:22 to go in the second quarter, when Devon Mueller found Aedan Bartolowitz in the end zone for a 5-yard strike.
Centennial’s Savon Scarver had an 8-yard TD reception from Juan Rodriguez with 40 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead going into halftime.
Rodriguez was 8-for-19 for 137 yards and added 64 rushing yards for the Bulldogs, who also gave sophomore Jamaal Evans some reps behind center. Evans finished 3 of 6 for 36 yards with two interceptions in limited time.
“(Rodriguez) bailed us out,” Evans said. “He’s a good athlete, and he made some extensive plays for us tonight. Things just worked out.”
Zach Mays had a 33-yard field goal for Centennial in the third quarter to give the team a 17-14 advantage. Mays was 1 of 2 on field goals, and his punting helped the Bulldogs all night with field position.
Foothill’s Cory Fisher was also busy Thursday. He made a 28-yard field goal with 10:37 in the fourth. Neither team scored again until overtime.
Rhamondre Stevenson’s 4-yard TD plunge in overtime put Centennial up before the defense sealed the win.
James Hagen had a 9-yard TD reception early in the third quarter for Foothill. Mueller was 15 of 28 for 163 yards and two touchdowns for the Falcons. Bartolowitz had 54 receiving yards, a TD, an interception and a fumble recovery.
“Foothill is Foothill,” Evans said. “They’re a great program and we knew they would come in here ready to play. You always make your biggest adjustment from the first game of the season, and that’s what they did. They didn’t do well last week, but they came here ready to play us.”