The Centennial High School football team expects a lot more pushback Friday, Sept. 15, at Northland than it received Sept. 8 against Fairfield Christian.

The Stars led the Knights 51-0 after the first quarter and 86-0 at halftime en route to an 86-6 victory and their first win of the season.

"There was not much value in the win in terms of becoming a better team," coach Donte Goosby said. "But we're happy to get our first win and that's a plus for our morale. The guys have worked hard. They fought hard and battled the first couple games, but now they got to see the fruits of their labor and all of the guys got some playing time.

"But we probably got more out of our two losses than this one."

Northland also enters the City League-North Division opener at 1-2 after losing to Granville 44-26 on Sept. 8.

The Vikings are led offensively by running backs John Branham Jr. and Mike Williams, receivers Khalil Branham and Jesse Prewitt III and quarterback Mike White. The Branhams are brothers.

On defense, linebackers Alfie Banks and Ezekiel Hannon, nose tackle Jordan McCall and Williams in the secondary are the leaders.

"Northland runs a spread offense and (John Branham) is a heck of a running back, but they're very balanced offensively and they don't show a lot of formation tendencies," Goosby said. "They are very athletic and very big up front. They've got athletes all over the field, so we're not going to out-athlete them. We've got to execute."

Against Granville, John Branham scored on a 3-yard run, a 95-yard kickoff return and a 51-yard punt return. Khalil Branham scored on a 26-yard pass from White.

The Stars were averaging 28 points entering their contest against Fairfield Christian, which is a Division VII team.

Luchene Davis ran for 181 yards and four touchdowns on nine carries against the Knights, and Marquise Scott added 132 yards and two touchdowns on five rushes. Scott also returned an interception 53 yards for a score.

Craig Burt caught five passes for 65 yards and three touchdowns, and Chris Street had two receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Jaylen Gilbert was 8-for-13 passing for 114 yards and four touchdowns and also scored on a 1-yard run.

"Our offensive and defensive lines have shown improvement," Goosby said. "Khari Woods and Lamont Rankin have anchored the offensive line and played well on the defensive line, too. Seth Arrowood and Oscar Espino also have been very solid."

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

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