The Centennial boys soccer team is going to need help if it wants to win the City League-North Division title after a 3-all tie against visiting Beechcroft on Sept. 19.
Centennial was 5-2-1 overall and 1-1-1 in the City-North before playing International on Sept. 24.
The Stars trailed the Cougars 2-0 early and 3-1 at halftime. Derrick Ibrahim and Diego Giraldo both scored in the second half to force the tie.
"They caught us off guard with their speed in the first 10 to 20 minutes," coach Scott George said. "(We) went out and dominated possession in the second half and we ended up scoring two to tie it."
Mifflin stands atop the City-North with a 4-0 record with two games to play, including a matchup with Beechcroft on Thursday, Sept. 26, that will have George's attention.
Ibrahim's goal against Beechcroft gave him a team-high 11 for the season.
"He has a really high motor," George said. "He's constantly running full speed at defenders and he does a very good job of pressuring defenders into making mistakes. He's easily able to capitalize off of that."
Ryan Lele also scored against Beechcroft and had nine goals through eight games. Nicky Oberdick had four goals and a team-high seven assists.
"(Lele) has four goals on free kicks this season," George said. "If we get a foul anywhere near the box, at this point, he's almost automatic. (Oberdick is) is a very good dribbler with a high motor. He's good at slipping gaps in opposing defenses and placing balls to Ryan and Derrick to finish."
The Stars want a favorable seed in the Division II district tournament and the back half of the schedule is full of non-league opponents, which George hopes will help their standing. The tournament draw is Oct. 6.
Those opponents include Hartley (Oct. 3), Dublin Scioto (Oct. 8) and Grandview (Oct. 12).
"What I'm looking for is getting as high of a seed in the Central District playoffs as possible," George said. "It all depends on how our results go against some of the other teams we play outside of the City (League). I think that Division II, this year, is pretty wide open."
Football team runs win streak to three
The football team continued its strong start, improving to 3-1 with a 48-15 win at Chillicothe on Sept. 20.
Luchene Davis continued to be a force for the Stars, scoring two touchdowns. He ran for 107 yards on 19 carries and had an interception.
Chillicothe led 8-0 early, but Centennial responded with 28 consecutive points en route to winning its third in a row.
"We had difficulty adjusting to their (passing game) initially," coach Donte Goosby said. "There was no antidote that we put into the kids -- they just had to respond on the field. It was a big crowd and a big stadium and our guys had to adjust to their surroundings a little bit. Once we did that we were fine."
Marquise Scott also made an impact with a 49-yard rushing touchdown. He finished with 73 yards on five carries and had 49 yards receiving on three catches.
"Everybody knows we're going to get Luchene the ball," Goosby said. "But Marquise is the guy that scares defensive coordinators to death. We give it to him on the jet sweep and we'll throw the football down the field to him. He's got exceptional speed."
The Stars have been playing without quarterback Jaylen Gilbert, who has been out since suffering an elbow injury in Week 1. Goosby thinks Gilbert could be back by Week 6.
Centennial begins City-North play Friday, Sept. 27, at home against East, which is 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the league after a 29-15 loss to Beechcroft on Sept. 20.
The Tigers are a run-first team that averaged 209 yards on the ground through its first three games.
"They're typical East," Goos-by said. "They have a bunch of athletes with one exceptional athlete at quarterback."
Quarterback Cedric Norvett had a team-high 292 yards and a touchdown rushing to go with 235 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception through the first three games. He had completed 18 of 26 passes.
"That kid is scary," Goosby said. "I had difficulty sleeping leading up to that game last year. They know how to take advantage of his skill set."
Tennis team finishes strong in league
The girls tennis team swept a pair of City-North matches to close the league slate last week.
The Stars entered this week 4-3 overall. They went 3-1 in the league to finish second behind Whetstone after 5-0 victories over International on Sept. 18 and Mifflin on Sept. 19.
Junior Michaela Smith went undefeated in her City matches this season, winning her match with International 6-0, 6-0 and following that up with a win against Mifflin by the same score.
"She's like night and day from last year," coach Barb Stevenson said. "She did winter tennis and it really showed."
For the doubles team of Lily Rogers and Jordyn Smith, neither had picked up a racket before this season. The duo earned its first victories against International and Mifflin.
"They really have come a long way," Stevenson said.
Below are the coming schedules for the Centennial boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 26 -- City League tournament at Airport
*Sept. 26 -- At Whetstone
*Oct. 1 -- At Northland
Oct. 3 -- Home vs. Hartley
Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Briggs
*Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Mifflin
Sept. 26 -- At Westland
Sept. 30 -- At Africentric
*Sept. 26 -- Home vs. East. The Stars defeated the Tigers 25-19, 25-16, 25-14 on Sept. 3.
*Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Whetstone. The Stars lost to the Braves 25-15, 18-25, 25-17, 25-23 on Sept. 5.
*Oct. 3 -- At Mifflin. The Stars defeated the Punchers 25-8, 25-16, 25-8 on Sept. 10.