BLOOMFIELD — Centerville fans have almost learned to expect it. A hard-fought game against Davis County and another victory against the Mustangs for a fifth straight year as Centerville retained the pennants with a 38-21 victory over Davis County on Friday night.
“It’s never bad to get on a bus with the pennants or the trophies no matter how ugly it looks sometimes,” Centerville head coach Matt Kovacevich said. “At the end of the day, we won the ballgame and to start two years in a row as head coach, and win those two games, it’s really important games for not only the football team but the community of Centerville.”
Last week it was the Big Reds making the first punch, but this week Davis County would strike first on their first passing play of the night. Caden Hill, who would later exit with an injury curtesy of a hard Cade Moore hit, would find Carson Zeitler deep down the sideline for a 61-yard touchdown to open a 7-0 lead.
“They came right out of the chute and the kid made a nice throw and the kid made a nice catch. We weren’t a good spot schematically and they got the touchdown early, but a good job out of our offense coming back and getting the ball into the end zone,” Kovacevich said.
Centerville did just that as they would answer back by scoring 20 straight points behind a good power running game from McCain Oden and Quinton Koestner. Oden would score all three touchdowns on the ground.
The senior running back only needed 5:08 of game time to find the end zone three times with touchdown runs of one, 14 and three yards to put Centerville in the lead.
All three of Oden’s touchdowns came courtesy of a stout Centerville defense that forced three straight three-and-outs after giving up the early Mustang touchdown.
Davis County avoided a forth consecutive three-and-out with a botched punt turning into a first down for the Mustangs. Trent McCann brought that drive to a halt with the safety making a nice recovery to intercept a deep throw to what looked like a wide-open Davis County receiver.
It looked like the Big Reds had all the momentum the Mustangs returned the favor with a late interception from Koestner setting up a late score from Davis County. Carson Maeder, who took over at quarterback in the second quarter, would rollout left and find his big 6-foot-6 tight end Riley Heller, who would dive into the end zone to cut the Centerville lead to 20-14 at the half.
“A little miscommunication between Trent and [Quinton],” Kovacevich said. “You’re going to get that in a nine-game season. We were moving the ball pretty well and those things happen. We were able to get into the half and make some adjustments.”
The Big Reds came out of the half locked in on defense with Davis County’s three drives in the third quarter resulting in a fumble, punt and interception. Centerville would take advantage of both Mustang turnovers in the quarter.
The fumble was a bad snap recovered by Broedy Kroeger just outside the Davis County red zone. A couple of plays later saw Oden trot in for his fourth rushing touchdown of the game from one yard out to make it a 28-14 Centerville lead.
Otis Williams would pick off Maeder after sitting back in a zone, eventually setting up a 24-yard Trent McCann field goal to extend the Big Red lead to 31-14 after three quarters.
Quinton Koestner’s nine-yard touchdown run would be icing on the cake for Centerville before a late Davis County touchdown against Centerville’s backups just before expiration made the final 38-21.
“The first half, defensively, we just didn’t do our thing the right way scheme-wise,” Kovacevich said. “We had some kids just playing individual instead of playing team ball and those 11 guys on defense got that cleaned up at halftime and the number ones did an outstanding job at getting to the quarterback and shutting the middle run down.”
After the 61-yard touchdown in the first quarter, Centerville’s defense did a nice job of keeping Davis County in front of them. The Mustangs would have 290 yards of total offense on the night but Centerville was able to force three turnovers to keep them off the board.
Nic Jewett had two sacks while Lucas Henderson and Tyler Sedgwick also had a sack.
Offensively, Centerville stuck with their guns with Koestner and Oden combining for 53 of the team’s 58 carries. Koestner finished with 106 rushing yards on 26 carries (4.1 yards per carry) with one touchdown while completing six of his 13 passing for 115 yards with one interception.
Oden ran for 165 yards on 27 attempts (6.1 yards per carry) with four touchdowns while adding a pair of catches for a total of 59 yards.
Centerville knew they had the advantage in the trenches, but when they went to the passing game, it was usually a perfectly set up screen pass that would go for some big yardage.
“Our screen game was really, really good tonight,” Kovacevich said. “We hit them with a couple of big plays. With a team that likes to bring pressure a lot, I thought we called some really timely screens tonight. [Quinton] and McCain did an outstanding job at carrying the load tonight offensively and when you got guys going down on the offensive line, we had a lot of twos in there in the second half with guys getting hurt so kudos to those guys that came in and played hard.”
Injuries have become a little too expected for Centerville recently and that continued on Friday with Cade Moore missing the second half and most of the second quarter with what coach Kovacevich sited as dehydration. Several other kids suffered from cramping and Kolby Micetich battled through a tough injury as well.
“Kolby Micetich, anybody sees him tonight or on the streets, pat that kid on the rear end. He played with one arm all night with a shoulder injury that we do not know the extent of. He played his guts out and kudos to him, that’s a warrior right there.”
Micetich had two tackles on defense and one rushing attempt for three yards on the night.
Centerville retains the pennants for a fifth straight year and defeats both of their bordering rivals — Albia and Davis County — for a fourth straight season.
Looking ahead, Centerville enters what may end up being the hardest part of their schedule with their next four opponents boasting a combined record of 7-1. The good news for Centerville is three of those four games will be at home, starting this week with their home opener against Knoxville.
“They’re the same Knoxville team that you’ve seen the last 100 years. They’re tough, physical, they’re going to get after us. We’re going to have to rest up and get healthy to take on the physicality a team like Knoxville is going to bring,” Kovacevich said.
Centerville (2-0) play their home opener next Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Knoxville (2-0).
Centerville 38, Davis County 21
CEN 14 6 11 7
DC 7 7 0 7
DC — Hill pass to Zeitler for 61-yard TD. PAT is good (0-7, 10:32)
CEN — Oden runs for 1-yard TD. PAT is good (7-7, 4:32)
CEN — Oden runs for 14-yard TD. PAT is good (14-7, 1:01)
CEN — Oden runs for 3-yard TD. PAT is no good (20-7, 11:24)
DC — Maeder pass to Heller for 18-yard TD. PAT is good (20-14, 4:33)
CEN — Oden runs for 1-yard TD. 2PC is good (28-14, 7:58)
CEN — McCann 24-yard FG is good (31-14, 0:34)
CEN — Koestner runs for 9-yard TD. PAT is good (38-14, 5:04)
DC — Smith runs for 11-yard TD. PAT is good (38-21, 1:12)
Centerville Individual Stats
Passing — Koestner 6/13 115 yards 1 INT
Rushing — Oden 27-165 4 TD, Koestner 26-106 1 TD, Messamaker 4-8, Micetich 1-3
Receiving — Oden 2-59, McCann 3-50, Mathews 1-6
Top-three tackles — Watts 5.5, Oden 5, Cowan 4.5
Sacks — Jewett 2, Henderson 1, Sedgwick 1
Interceptions-Return — McCann 1-6, Williams 1-2
Fumble Recoveries-Return — Kroeger 1-0
Field Goals — McCann 1/1 (24)