The Centennial football team entered this season having never won a City League title or even come close to making the postseason.
The trophy case will display a championship this year, with the Stars clinching at least a share of the City League-North Division title with a 33-7 victory at Northland on Oct. 25.
The win also keeps Centennial, which improved to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the league, in the running for a Division III, Region 11 playoff spot.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Stars quarterback Jaylen Gilbert said. “Words can’t describe the feeling right now. It’s unfinished business from here on out. We’ve just got to take it game by game.”
Gilbert scored on touchdown runs of 3, 1 and 11 yards in helping the Stars amass 310 yards rushing.
Luchene Davis, who had a team-best 177 yards on 23 carries, scored on runs of 8 and 30 yards in the fourth quarter.
Northland finished with 175 yards rushing but gained most of them — 156 — in the first half. Two of the Vikings’ drives stalled in Centennial territory on fourth down.
“Obviously, our execution wasn’t where we needed it to be, especially on those plays,” Northland coach Brian Staats said. “On the fourth-and-2 at midfield, to get 2 yards out of the deal, we just didn’t execute the play.”
From there, Gilbert’s 3-yard touchdown run capped a six-play drive, giving the Stars a 14-0 lead.
Northland got on the scoreboard with 1:09 left in the second quarter on an 8-yard run by Khalil Branham.
The senior, who left the game with an injury late in the fourth quarter, finished with 106 yards on 18 carries.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final CENTENNIAL 7 7 7 12 33 NORTHLAND
0 7 0 0 7
C—Gilbert 3 run (Ali kick)
C—Gilbert 1 run (Ali kick)
N—Branham 8 run (Dumashie kick)
C—Gilbert 11 run (Ali kick)
C—Davis 8 run (kick failed)
C—Davis 30 (kick failed)