Las Vegas High School Football Game of The Week: Centennial vs. Cimarron

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Las Vegas High School Football

Just three plays into the Centennial High School and Cimarron-Memorial High School Football game, the Bulldogs intercepted the Spartans quarterback and took the ball back to the one-yard line. Centennial running back Jordan Smith would punch the ball into the end zone on the next play. The Bulldogs were up 7-0.

Centennial Head Football Coach Dustin Forshee said that the interception was “huge.” “It was one of those where ok we talked to them about it, we had a lot of energy for senior night, pre-game, we had to do something big, so wherever we had the ball, and it was a kick-off or a big offensive play, and obviously big defensive play we were kind of willing that to happen a little bit, and it did. Just a huge ton of momentum for us,” Forshee added.

Junior quarterback Colton Tenney threw a touchdown pass to senior Nate Conger, and it was poetic that the first two touchdowns of the game came via seniors on Senior Night.

This score stayed 13-0 until 1:14 left was left in the first half, as the Spartans could never really find a rhythm offensively after the interception on their opening drive.  After a fumble, Tenney would find junior tight end Emilio Valdovinos for a touchdown in the back right corner of the endzone. The PAT was good, and the score was 20-0 with just over a minute left until the half ended.

Even with scoring a touchdown and stopping the Spartans on their next drive, the Bulldogs still managed to have just enough time for junior receiver Isaac Bello to take a pass the distance, roughly 60-yards for a touchdown.

After converting the extra point, the score stood at 27-0, with 0.5 seconds left on the clock in the first half.

The Bulldogs wound up squibbing the kick-off, and instead of just securing the ball, the Spartans tried to attack it as the ball ricocheted off of a Spartan. The Bulldogs were able to recover just before the half ended. Halfway through the third quarter, the Bulldogs started to feed junior wide receiver, Gerick Robinson.  The ultra-talented Robinson had multiple touches on this drive and capped it off with a touchdown reception with 6:42 remaining in the third quarter.

Head Coach Dustin Forshee said after the game that Robinson is a “very smart kid…he’s great kid, and a hard worker too.” Forshee also estimated that Robinson ended his night with approximately 200 yards receiving with two touchdowns.

When the Bulldogs had missed their earlier extra point, it came back to bite them. Centennial now only led by 34, and you need to have 35 to have a running clock in the NIAA schools. With 3:42 left in the game, receiver Giovanni Monroe scored on a 60-yard catch-and-run play to move the Bulldogs to a comfortable 41-0 lead and running clock.

Coach Forshee said that they did not envision a 60-yard catch-and-run but wanted to have a running clock to stop running the same set of plays over and over for their opponent to figure out and stack the box for a run.

“Ya, obviously we want to run the ball, and that’s how we keep the clock moving, but at that time, you know we’re going to run the ball. So, they’re going to stack it, so not that we wanted to score, needed to score, it was like we need to do something to be able to move the ball, not have three run plays then punt, three-run plays then punt, and still have them have time.” Coach Forshee said, “We wanted to get out of here, get off the field, so that’s kind of what that was.”

Photo Credit: Las Vegas Sun

With a couple of seconds left in the game, the Spartans would attempt a field goal, which they missed and ended up getting shut out at Centennial.

This game was the Spartans‘ second shutout of the season, the other was Faith Lutheran, losing 35-0 at the beginning of October. On the flip-side, Centennial pitched its second shutout of the season, with the first being on August 23, where they won 35-0 over Sierra Vista.

After the game, Head Coach Dustin Forshee had this to say after officially making the NIAA playoffs as the number one seed, “It’s awesome it just goes to show you the kids buying in, doing what they’re doing, and our coaching staff does such a great job that it goes to show that if you do the right things, you put in the work, things happen, it wasn’t an overnight success or we had a whole bunch of kids transferring in or anything.”

“These were kids that a lot of them are now seniors, Aaron Johnson, Jordan Smith, Sammie Wallace, and Thomas Lane, those guys were sophomores on a 1-8 team, so them being able to buy-in and stick with it just kind of goes to show you that’s how you can win here in Vegas, and that’s how you can win period. So, it’s nice to get up in a whole new year, in the playoffs, it’s a whole new season, 1-0 mentality, winner go home.”

Photo Credit Max Preps

Gerick Robinson was also very excited about this win, saying that “we did it for the community” while pointing to the stands. Robinson was quick to point out that the team does not even care about the one win from a couple of years ago, but that the team needs to focus on the task at hand.

He said that when you show students that you care about them and are willing to invest time and energy in them, then the players are going to buy-in to the program.

He also admitted that the postseason is not a guarantee for everyone and that anything can happen, “I think ours and kind of the Mountain region are very deep, I mean 1-4, I mean we lost, and obviously, we got the number one seed, and Faith Lutheran got the four. We lost to the four seed, so it just goes to show you what can happen. Same thing over there, whether we play, Canyon [Springs], whether we play Legacy, [both are great teams].

After losing to Desert Pines in the first round last year by 21, Robinson knows that the team can’t lie down and have this game come to them, but that they have to fight. He said, “Our attitude is that we are disappointed in what we did last year, we think we should have gone farther, but other than that I think we’re going to do good, we’re all going to do our thing.”

Centennial High School’s next game is on November 15, 2019, against Legacy. The game kicks off at Centennial High School at 7:00 PM.

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