Senior running back Scottie Fleming rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns to lead Centennial to a 31-14 victory at Overton on Friday night in a non-district game.
Centennial (1-0) was a model of offensive efficiency in the first half, amassing 121 yards rushing and 76 yards passing to take a 17-0 lead in the second quarter. Centennial finished the game with 213 yards rushing.
“Effective offenses will always run the ball well and that’s what we did,” Centennial coach Brian Rector said. “I’m really proud of our offensive line and our backs and the way they secured the football because we have had issues with that leading up to this. They did a tremendous job of staying on blocks and securing the football for extra yardage.”
Fleming had 20 carries, but none of his runs was longer than 15 yards.
“That’s what Scottie does. He can be explosive, but what people don’t understand is that those 6-yard runs are a lot more important if you can get 10 or 12 of them than a 50-yard run,” Rector said.
After Centennial’s second touchdown run in the second quarter, Overton’s Justin Martin returned the kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to close the gap to 17-7.
But a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown by Centennial’s Dusty Lee with a minute left to play in the first half put the Cougars back up by 17 points at 24-7.
Overton (0-2) started the third quarter with an 80-yard drive culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run by Willis Word to make it 24-14.
A fumbled punt set up the only other score of the second half. Centennial recovered the ball at the Overton 7 midway through the fourth quarter, and Fleming scored on a 5-yard run two plays later.
“The first half was a train wreck,” Overton coach Terry Anderson said. “We couldn’t get anything established offensively. They were controlling up front on both sides of the ball. Defensively, we couldn’t stop them.
“We battled in the second half; we didn’t in the first half.”