The Burleson Centennial Spartans pulled away from upset-minded Arlington Seguin in the second half Friday at Wilemon Field for a 49-22 victory.
Centennial (9-1) equaled the school record for victories in a regular season, along with wrapping up sole possession of second place in District 5-5A Division II with a 7-1 league record. Its lone loss was to district champion Aledo, and the Spartans have won seven straight since.
Sequin (0-9, 0-7) has yet to defeat Centennial in the series. The Spartans are 3-0 against the Cougars, with this being their biggest margin of victory.
Centennial scored twice in the first 56 seconds of the third quarter after holding a slim 21-14 halftime advantage. They scored twice more before the Cougars found the end zone once more with no time left in the game.
Seguin drove to the Centennial 12 late in the first half, but the Spartans defense forced back-to-back incompletions as time expired. The Centennial pass defense also registered seven sacks in the game.
To start the second half, the Spartans’ Chris Mosley returned a kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown. Then, Seguin fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Centennial’s Kendall Earhart fell on it. Two plays later, Jeff Kirven scored on a 4-yard run and the Spartans were 35-14 with 11:04 left in the third quarter.
The Spartans will face the District 6-5A Division II third-place finisher in the bi-district round of the playoffs in two weeks. Under new rules put in place by the University Interscholastic League this season, Centennial has the choice to host that game, and Spartans coach Kyle Geller has said that is their plan.
The Spartans also finished the 2016 regular season 9-1, going on to reach the second round of the playoffs for a final record of 10-2. However, their deepest playoff run was to the third round in 2015 when they finished with a 9-4 record.
This is the fifth consecutive season in which the Spartans have reached the playoffs. They began varsity play in 2011.
Game was over when: Centennial scored twice in the first 56 seconds of the third quarter, first on an 81-yard kickoff return by Chris Mosley, then on a 4-yard run by Jeff Kirven after the Spartans recovered a fumbled kickoff.
Play of the game: On his kickoff return to start the second half, Mosley appeared to be tackled on several occasions, only to keep breaking free on his way to the end zone.
Offensive player of the game: Centennial running back Jaylon Jackson carried nine times for 158 yards with touchdowns of 15 and 21 yards. Those back-to-back scores game the Spartans a 21-6 lead late in the second quarter.
Defensive player of the game: Centennial’s Kendall Earheart recovered a Seguin fumble on a kickoff a half minute into the third quarter. It came immediately after Mosley’s kickoff return and led to Kirven’s touchdown that put the Spartans up by 21 points.
Unsung hero of the game: Seguin quarterback Mykelti Carelock kept his team in the game in the first half. He finished the night with 184 passing yards and 138 rushing yards.
What’s next: Centennial has a bye in the final week of the regular season and will face the third-place team from District 6-5A Division II in two weeks at Burleson ISD Stadium. Seguin travels to Aledo, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m.