Putting the ball within Ugo Amadi’s reach is a risky proposition for most opponents.
Most opponents don’t have Emanuel Hall.
In a matchup of Southeastern Conference commitments, the Centennial receiver won a couple of plays against the Overton cornerback — scoring on touchdown catches of 47 and 25 yards to keep Friday’s game close enough for Deon Sanders’ 1-yard run to give the visiting Cougars a 28-21 victory.
“He’s our best athlete,” Centennial coach Brian Rector said after the Missouri-bound Hall finished with 113 receiving yards on four catches. “We’d be stupid, no matter who’s on him, to not at least try to get the ball to him.”
Amadi, headed to Ole Miss, scored on a 94-yard kickoff return immediately after Hall’s first TD catch, a 47-yarder. He added a 6-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the third quarter to break a 14-14 halftime deadlock.
But in the late stages of the third quarter, Centennial (2-0) mounted a drive that featured Hall, as quarterback Connor Rietveld found him for completions of 11 (on third-and-5) and 30 yards to set up the tying score. Hall went up the left sideline past Amadi and into the end zone, where Rietveld dropped it in from 25 yards out.
“That’s the matchup we wanted,” Overton coach Steve Williams said. “The kid (Hall) just made a play. I still like my chances with him. It was a game of big plays, and they just made one more than us. Ugo’s a competitor. (Hall) just got the jump on him.”
That was Hall’s final catch, but he was involved in another key play that set up the winning score. On third-and-11 from the Centennial 38-yard line, he drew a defensive holding penalty when he ran a stop-and-go route. Mondu Sawyers converted the third-and-1, and seven plays later Sanders (102 rushing yards) scored with 4:33 remaining.
“Our offense was executing all night,” Hall said. “Deon was making good runs, (Rietveld) was making great passes, I was getting open. The defense executed. When you do all that, you get the win.
“(Amadi) is a really good player. I was going against a good corner, probably one of the best I’ll play all year. I was really excited about it. I studied him all week. But me and the quarterback had a really good linkup, and we came out and did it.”
Overton (0-2) finished with 147 yards in the loss.
Reach Maurice Patton at 615-259-8018 and on Twitter @mopatton_sports.