The Centennial High School football team will be looking to lock up its first winning season since finishing 6-4 in 2001 when it plays at Mifflin on Friday, Oct. 19.
Centennial went 7-3 on the field in 2002 but was forced to forfeit the first three games and officially went 4-6.
The Stars enter the contest at 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the City-North Division after beating Linden-McKinley 42-0 on Oct. 12. The Punchers are 2-6 overall and 2-3 in the league after losing to East 14-12 the same night.
This will be Mifflin's league finale before playing host to Aurora on Oct. 26. Centennial closes the season at home against Whetstone that night.
"The kids are excited about the possibility, but a winning record truly isn't what we're focused on as coaches," coach Donte Goosby said. "We're focused on the growth of the kids on and off the field. We've got young guys and we're trying to get them to tie up loose ends with grades and other issues. They're exceptional athletes and are showing maturity on the field, but we want to see that maturity off the field."
Mifflin is led by running back Tavion Scales and quarterback Aman Thornton. Scales had 89 yards rushing and a touchdown against East, and Thornton threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Elijah May and finished 7-for-22 for 97 yards. The Punchers were outgained 405-247 in total yards and allowed 313 yards rushing.
Against Linden, Centennial quarterback Jaylen Gilbert threw touchdown passes to Syquee Womack and C.J. Dean and ran for another score, and Luchene Davis rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown. Marquise Scott returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown and Jamal Erby added a 5-yard touchdown run.
Defensively, the Stars forced six turnovers, with Womack making two interceptions and Justin Bridges grabbing one. Dean had 4.5 tackles, including a sack, and Noah Hatem had two tackles for loss.
"I thought Kevin Motley had a great game on the defensive line," Goosby said. "He has a lot of gifts and he finally had a breakout game. Kelvin Gilliam also had a good game on the defensive line."