Ninth-ranked Centennial poses a big enough challenge for a team with clear heads.
For an Arbor View football team that suffered through a tragic week at school after a division-opening loss to Palo Verde on Sept. 2, the Bulldogs were downright dangerous.
Roderick Eason ran for 136 yards and caught a 51-yard touchdown pass to help make sure No. 4 Arbor View came away with a 20-13 home win on a night dedicated to slain student Alyssa Otremba.
“We knew her family was here, and we were going to be very supportive of her family,” Eason said. “This game was for her tonight. We came in and got it done.”
The Aggies used a ball-control offense and stingy defense to make a 20-6 halftime edge hold up.
Arbor View (2-1, 1-1 Northwest League) put together a six-minute drive in the fourth quarter and was close to putting the game out of reach before a fumbled snap gave Centennial (0-2, 0-1) the ball at its 17 with a chance to tie or win. But the Bulldogs failed to get a first down.
“I have to give it to our (defensive backs),” Eason said. “We knew they had to pass, and our DBs took care of their receivers.”
Arbor View’s defense held Centennial quarterback Austin Turley without a completion on seven second-half pass attempts after he was 4-for-6 for 63 yards in the first half.
Aggies coach Dan Barnson said he felt his team handled all of the emotions of the week as well as can be expected.
“Our kids really wanted to go out there because we knew a lot of people were going to be here. They wanted to play for (Otremba), and we did,” he said. “… Some of their emotions can be roller coasters, but the kids battled. It was a rough week in school, it really was.”
Donnie Gaskin capped the game’s opening drive with a 33-yard touchdown run for Arbor View. He finished with 98 yards on five carries.
After Jacobi Owens answered for the Bulldogs with a 9-yard scoring run early in the second quarter, Eason got free down the middle for his 51-yard score, one of only two completions on three attempts for quarterback Henry Hoffend.
Owens added a 6-yard TD run in the third quarter and finished with 115 yards and two scores on the ground.