Corona – Centennial football team looking to party like 2014 or 2015.
The Centennials captured back-to-back championships in their first two seasons in the top division of the CIF Southern section, but the Huskies have been knocked out four straight times in the semi-finals of the Division 1 playoffs. The Centennials will look to end their championship-game drought when they host Mater Dei, the unanimously ranked No. 1 team in the country, in a semi-final match at 7 pm on Friday.
Centennials (11-0) and Mater Dei (9-0) were scheduled to play in the season opener, but games were canceled after the Centennials enforced COVID-19 protocols. The stakes will be high on Friday evening.
“It certainly looks like it had to happen,” said Notre Dame-bound defensive back Jaden Mickey. “I don’t want to play with any other team at the moment.
“It’s an opportunity to show how good we are. We think we are the best team in the country, as every team should feel in my opinion. We have the opportunity to show what a hundred years of football is all about.” “
Friday’s performance will be the 11th meeting between the state powerhouses since 2007, and the series is tied with five wins. The Centennials defeated Mater Dei in the playoffs to win those Division 1 championships in 2014 and 2015, but Mater Dei have won the last two games by a combined score of 90–26.
Centennial coach Matt Logan said it would be especially important to defend Friday Night Football.
“We have to limit mistakes on our part and Mater Dei shouldn’t allow those big plays,” Logan said.
The Centennials started the post season with a 62–16 win over Mission Viejo. The offense was in top form, racking up a season-high 604 yards. Izzy Carter and Carson Conklin combined to throw 212 yards and three touchdowns, and the two quarterbacks also rushed for a combined 181 yards and three more touchdowns. The Huskies demonstrated their depth of playmakers, with eight players scoring at least one touchdown.
Carter said, “Like Logan always says, we want to grab every possession.” “We’re excited for it. This week’s practice has been extremely intense, and we’re ready to go out there and shock the world.”
Centennial is only allowing 9.9 points per game, and this year’s defense is being compared to some of the other great units in the program’s history (2008 and 2015). Mater Dei averages 50.6 points per game, so Friday’s game will be the biggest test of the year for the Husky. Elijah Brown is one of the top quarterbacks in the state, but Logan said the game plan starts with trying to pull off the run game.
“He has a great offensive line and excellent back,” said Logan. “It’s going to be a challenge, and hopefully we’re up for it.”