Sometimes the sequel doesn’t live up to the hype.
The Coyotes (11-1) took a 7-0 lead into halftime despite having several opportunities to essentially put the game away in the first half as Desert Edge’s veteran offense struggled to gain any momentum. With the loss the Scorpions end their season 10-2.
The individual star of the night was Centennial running back Zidane Thomas. The junior was a one-man show scoring three touchdowns and eventually wearing down the Edge defense as the ‘Yotes advance to face top-seed Cienega in Tucson next week. His first quarter 84-yard score set the tone for what proved to be a typical Centennial game: winning the line of scrimmage, key stops defensively and capitalizing on opportunities on both sides of the ball.
“The first game of the year we were starting 14 kids that never played a varsity game before,” head coach Richard Taylor said after the game of their Week Zero loss to Desert Edge back on August 20th in Flagstaff. “We had five turnovers. I think we’ve grown a lot as a team.”
Desert Edge didn’t cross midfield until the third quarter but had a shot to climb back in the game thanks to their defense who performed well outside of a couple big runs from Thomas who stole the show from his namesake, Desert Edge senior quarterback Tehran Thomas.
“They were a hard team,” Centennial senior tight end/defensive end Andrew Nichols told Sports360AZ.com. “It felt like the whole game they didn’t let up so we just kept going.”
Another semi-final appearance for the Coyotes.
“The tradition is [important],” Nichols said with a smile. “The players who have come through here. We had to make them proud.”