At 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the City League-North Division at the midpoint of the regular season, the Centennial football team could conceivably do something it has never done before: make the playoffs.
The Stars were projected to be 13th in Division III, Region 11 this week, according to joeeitel.com. The top eight qualify for the postseason.
"I think we control our own fate," coach Dante Goosby said. "It's as easy or as difficult as we make it. But we have not been in this position too many times in the past. It's not in our DNA -- a playoff hunt or playing for a City-League-North title. That's not in our DNA.
"I think it's a lot easier to fumble an opportunity like this than it is to take advantage of it or execute. But we're certainly up for the challenge. It beats the alternative."
Centennial has an opportunity to make a statement in the league race with a win Friday, Oct. 4, at Beechcroft.
How long has it been since Centennial won a league title?
"Never," Goosby said. "It's been since never."
And when was the last time the Stars beat the Cougars?
"Again, that'd be another never," Goosby said. "We've never beaten Beechcroft and before last year, we haven't even been that close. And we've never beaten Northland, either."
The Stars fell 30-25 in last year's meeting against Beechcroft after losing 32-0 in 2017 and 41-0 in 2016.
"We're in such an alien position, such a different position, that we have to find a way to (motivate)," Goosby said. "Even if it was standard operating procedure, we have to find any tool that we can use that's motivating."
Centennial picked up its fourth win in a row by beating East 40-6 to open league play Sept. 27, although Goosby said the game was closer than the score indicated. The Stars used a C.J. Dean interception return for a touchdown, a Marquise Scott punt return for a score and a blocked punt recovered by Kelvin Gilliam in the end zone to blow open what was a 14-6 halftime lead.
Filling in for the injured Jaylen Gilbert (elbow) at quarterback, Syquee Womack threw for a touchdown and ran for two. He also had an interception on defense.
Goosby said Gilbert has been progressing and might play against Beechcroft, which improved to 3-2 overall by beating Toledo Waite 20-12 on Sept. 28. The Cougars are 1-0 in the league.