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October 2, 2014

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Arbor View hands Centennial fifth loss

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Stephen R. Sylvanie / Special to the Home News

Bulldogs running back David Vance (2) tries to turn the corner on the Aggies during Friday’s game at Centennial High.

Arbor View wins over Centennial

Bulldogs quarterback Chris Henderson (3) looks to evade Arbor View's Austin Anderson (18) during Friday's game at Centennial High. Launch slideshow »

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Not even fierce winds could reverse the direction the Centennial football team’s season is headed.

The Bulldogs lost their fifth-straight game Friday, a 28-7 defeat at the hands of visiting Arbor View. The game, played before a near-capacity homecoming crowd, likely ended any hope for Centennial of reaching the postseason.

Playing without its two top offensive weapons in do-everything wide receiver Matt Holley and big-play running back Brandon Wright, Centennial could only muster 89 yards of total offense. To make matters worse, consistently strong winds that blew everything from pom-poms to balloons to yard markers and pylons across the field gave Bulldogs quarterback Chris Henderson little opportunity to throw.

Meanwhile, Arbor View’s trademark ground attack was in full force as running backs Taylor Wooten and Gabe Toney rushed for 154 and 151 yards, respectively.

“To lose guys the caliber of Matt Holley and Brandon Wright is a big ouch,” Centennial coach George Baker said. “The injuries didn’t help but, at the same time, we couldn’t stop them. Hats off to coach (Dan) Barnson and the Arbor View Aggies tonight. The kids are believing in what he’s doing and they’re going in the right direction.”

Baker can only hope his team can turn around after falling to 2-5. Even with Centennial losing five straight games, Baker said he didn’t believe his players would quit.

Though Holley and Wright were the most recognizable injured, Baker said the Bulldogs were without more than 10 players — about a quarter of their 40-man roster — because of various ailments.

Holley, out with a concussion, and Wright, who missed the game with a hip injury, are both expected back when Centennial travels to play Cimarron-Memorial on Oct. 17.

“We’ll tell our guys we won’t give up as coaches, and I don’t think they’ll give up as players,” Baker said. “I’ve always said every team we play in the Northwest Division is our rival. Our kids will get up for Cimarron and they’ll get up for Shadow Ridge and Mojave as well.”

With the victory, Arbor View rebounded after consecutive close losses to Cimarron and Legacy to improve to 5-2. The Aggies face the toughest part of their schedule the next two weeks when they host Palo Verde and visit Cheyenne.

Centennial was a must-win game if Arbor View is to reach the playoffs, Barnson said.

“With four games left, can you really have a must-win? But we looked at it like that, and the kids responded,” Barnson said. “We dropped our last two, so you never know how they will come out. But they just kept going, doing our game plan, running it right down (Centennial’s) throat.”

Barnson said he was pleased with the Aggies’ running game -- and especially with the weather.

“There was 40-mile-an-hour wind and Centennial likes to throw the ball and it was hard on them,” Barnson said. “So we just did our ground attack. That’s our deal. It’s what we do.”

Christopher Drexel can be reached at 990-8929 or [email protected].

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