Chris Mosley couldn’t field the second-half kickoff and it appeared for the moment the Burleson Centennial season was slipping away.
But the electrifying junior made sure to redeem himself with the game-sealing 7-yard touchdown run with 2:36 left and the Spartans went on to beat Corsicana 28-20 on Friday in the Class 5A Division II area round at Burleson ISD Stadium.
“It was all on me and I couldn’t blame anyone but myself. My brothers told me to keep my head up and I couldn’t think about it,” Mosley said. “I just had to go out there and keep making plays.”
For the second time in their seven-year history, the Spartans (11-1) advance to the regional round (2015), where they’ll face No. 9 Frisco Reedy (12-0).
“This is a great bunch of guys,” said Centennial coach Kyle Geller, who started the program. “They’re blue-collar kids and they just work hard. We’re not perfect, but they love each other and they have fun playing, and that’s what makes it fun as a coach.”
Trailing 14-6, the Tigers (9-3) picked up the loose ball on the kickoff at the 4-yard line. On fourth down from the 1, Dajioun Nathan punched it in, and his run on the 2-point try tied the game at 14-14 with 9:56 left in the third.
Corsicana kept the momentum with an interception on the ensuing Centennial drive from Jervontae Anderson, who finished at quarterback on the Tigers’ fourth possession because of an injury to starter Blake Hoffman.
But with the ball at the Centennial 40, the Tigers’ 33-yard field goal try clanked off the right goal post.
After the Spartans failed on a fake punt, Corsicana drove 35 yards capped off by Anderson’s 5-yard TD run to give the Tigers their first lead 20-14 with 8:04 left.
Mosley blocked the extra point – his second of the night – and it allowed Centennial to take the lead on the next drive with a 26-yard TD run from Zionn Ababio with 5:59 to play.
Corsicana was forced to punt on the ensuing possession and Mosley gained 57 yards on the return, and punched it in five plays later. Da’Quan Campbell picked off a Corsicana pass to end the game.
“Chris is a play maker,” Geller said. “Everyone makes mistakes and that was his and it was a pretty big one, but he made up for it. It just shows the unselfishness from the kid.”
The Spartans scored with no time left in the first quarter when Jaylon Jackson scored from the 8 and then led 14-6 with 36 seconds left in the half on a 4-yard run from Kyle Burns.
“We just fought through it and we’re trying to make history,” said Burns, who rushed 14 times for 32 yards. “The defense played amazing and the offensive line played great. Everyone stepped up when we needed to make plays. It was a great night.”
Nathan scored Corsicana’s first TD from the 17, but Mosley blocked the try to keep it at 7-6.
“It was about keeping our heads up,” said Mosley, who helped Centennial beat Corsicana 28-26 in the season opener. “We’re made for games like this — we win close games.”
The teams combined for four completions and 458 yards rushing. Mosley had a team-high 82 on eight carries while Ababio added 72 yards on 11 carries. Mazin Richards recorded three sacks for the Spartans, one on each of Corsicana’s first three drives.
Nathan led the game with 111 yards on 25 carries and Anderson added 55 yards.