Utica-For the second straight year the Centennial Broncos high school football team, is off to compete for a state title in class C-2.
Friday night the Broncos beat the Oakland-Craig Knights 35-14 in the semi-finals. It turned out to be a lopsided affair.
It was 19 degrees at game time, and 12 by the end of the night. The weather didn’t affect the game, nor seem to bother the players.
Coming into the match up, both teams were undefeated and had both made it through the first two rounds of the playoffs. With Centennial being the number one seed, they got to host all three games.
Centennial punted away their first possession. It wasn’t much better for Oakland-Craig as they fumbled and lost the ball on their first possession.
Centennial capitalized on the fumble, although it took 14 plays. Senior quarterback Wyatt Elhers ran it in from 15 yards for the score. The PAT was good, 7-0, Broncos.
That would be the first of Elhers two T.D.’s on the night as he scooped up a fumble late in the fourth quarter and ran it in also. He also had an inception in the game.
Elhers didn’t just leg it out, he used his canon of an arm to lead his team to the “W”. He was 13-18 in passing on the bitter cold night.
Oakland-Craig was stymied on offense by the Broncos solid “D”.
Knight QB Jared Mulder came into the game having aired it out for 1050 yards on the season. He didn’t throw much at all on this night going 5-13 in completions. Most of those coming in the fourth quarter.
Running back Robby Mayberry had been one of the best in the league in rushing with 1205 yards on the season. Centennial contained him well only scoring once in this match up on a two-yard run in the second quarter.
Jefferson McNeil got majority of the carries for Oankland-Craig. He made it into the end zone in the fourth quarter for the teams only other score.
Centennial defense forced three fumbles, and the one Ehlers interception.
On offense they were clicking.
In the second quarter, on their third possession of the game, Elhers handed the rock to Sid Farley to ran it in from two yards out for the T.D.
In that same quarter Max Tomes caught a pass and ran it in 35 yards for the score. They went to half-time leading 21-7.
In the third quarter Oakland-Craig’s time of possession for the ball was close to eight minutes. They managed to work their way down the field on running play after running play but couldn’t find the end zone.
They did, however manage to keep Centennial from scoring in that quarter.
The momentum switch was short lived as the Broncos made their way down the field early in the fourth quarter.
With Jackson Hirschfeld in the crosshairs all night for the Knights defense, Ehlers found Caleb Horne on a 26-yard pass and the T.D.
That same quarter, Oakland-Craig got in trouble on a running play as Mayberry was about to get sacked and at the last second, he dished the ball to Mulder who ran a little then he got tackled, fumbling the ball which Ehlers took in for the score.
That sealed the victory for Centennial who goes to 12-0 and will face Norfolk Catholic for the title, Tuesday, November 20, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.
Oakland-Craig ends their season 11-1.
It should be noted Centennial had six penalties, for a team that doesn’t give up many, to O.C.’s seven flags.