After starting the year 0-5, the Centennial Knights returned from a bye week ready for a three-game stretch beginning with previously undefeated Lambert. The Longhorns were not the typical homecoming opponent, but that didn’t matter by the end of the night as the Knights defended the Fortress in a 26-7 victory.
“It was a fun night,” said head coach Jeff Carlberg. “It was really great for the players and the coaches, especially after you struggle like we did in the first half of the season. We just kept coming to work and we kept the faith.”
Carlberg was quick to credit his assistant coaches and his players, who he said really played well after two strong weeks of practice.
“It would have been easy to walk away, but these kids never did,” beamed Carlberg. “I’m happy for them for how they played.”
Senior quarterback Chase Rosenberg was “outstanding” according to Carlberg. Rosenberg finished the night with 190 yards on 17-of-24 passing, racking up three touchdowns, all going to Christian Robinson.
“He did a good job managing the game,” said Carlberg. “He took care of the ball and did what we asked him to do.”
Robinson finished with 11 catches for 145 yards and the three touchdowns.
“He was just fabulous,” said Carlberg. “He made some really outstanding catches.”
While Rosenberg and Robinson were the obvious statistical standouts, Carlberg was quick to praise the offensive line for providing Rosenberg enough time to connect with his receivers.
“We have no depth on our offensive line,” revealed Carlberg. “They did a great job. We ran the ball enough in spots.”
Cyril Teal had a good game at running back, scoring the team’s final touchdown, but ShaQuan Hobes, typically a receiver, came off the bench and did a good job at the fullback position. Carlberg noted that seven offensive linemen have been injured at some point this season and the Knights are practicing with just eight linemen. In fact, Carlberg has had to juggle some players between the offensive and defensive lines including Andrew Estes.
The players that remained on the defensive line stood out in Friday’s victory. Carlberg noted that the game was won by the defensive line, which played with much more aggression. Lorenzo McWilliams, Lloyd Glenn, Chris Calhoun, Reggie Ben-Asemota and Caleb Howard all played a big part in the line’s success.
“The front seven played well and held a great offense to zero completions,” bragged Carlberg. “The front four played out of this world. They were just great. I tell our players that we need to be the hammer and not the nail. (Friday), we were finally the hammer.”
Carlberg was also pleased with the support from the home crowd as the coach said it was nice to return home after three straight road games.
“We had a pretty spirited pep rally Friday,” said Carlberg.
Now the coach is hoping that whatever clicked stays clicked with four games left in the regular season.
“We wanted it more than they did,” said Carlberg. “Hopefully our kids can walk through the halls with their heads up and practice hard once again this week.”
Centennial faces South Forsyth next week.