The Centennial High School football team broke through for a 63-27 victory over East on Sept. 29, but coach Donte Goosby said the Stars quickly turned the page with a trip to Beechcroft coming on Friday, Oct. 6.
"Beechcroft is traditionally the cream of the crop in the City-North," Goosby said. "They're fast and physical and have kids who have played a lot of football. They're well-coached and they have an extra week to prepare for us."
The Cougars enter the contest 2-3 overall and 2-0 in the league. They did not play Sept. 29, having an open week after a 41-0 win over East on Sept. 22.
"We've got to come out and play our best football," Goosby said. "We have to have everyone showing up to practice and working hard with a great mindset. It's great that we beat a very young East team and our kids were rewarded for their effort. But now we've got to repeat the process and hopefully repeat the outcome."
After scoring a combined 14 points during the first three weeks, the Cougars outscored their first two league opponents 55-8 to extend their league winning streak to 22 games. They beat Mifflin 14-8 on Sept. 15.
The Cougars are led offensively by quarterback Jovaughn Hill and running back Shemar Samuel. Hill was 11-for-14 passing for 168 yards and three touchdowns against East, while Samuel ran for 148 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown. Receiver Sincere Henderson had seven catches for 48 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown, and also returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown from his defensive back position.
Centennial scored 35 of the final 41 points to pull away from East after leading 28-21 in the second quarter.
Running back Luchene Davis rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries, and Jaylen Gilbert was 8-for-13 passing for 144 yards with touchdowns to running back Marquise Scott (45 yards) and receiver Craig Burt (70, 7 yards).
"Davis, Scott and (Parker) Johnson all ran the ball well and our offense executed pretty well overall," Goosby said. "Once our defense settled in, they made stops. East scored on two of their first three possessions, but we got better from there.
"Johnson led the team in tackles for the second week in a row from safety and Khari Woods was strong at end with two tackles for loss and four quarterback pressures. (Cornerback) Nigel Harris had two pass breakups and had solid coverage against their top receiver (Shahqim Edwards)."