Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010 | 11 p.m.
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Las Vegas Sun reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer discuss their failed attempt to predict the Southwest and Northwest divisions at the beginning of the season and break down this week's six playoff matchups.
Centennial High running back Jacobi Owens rushed for a 47-yard touchdown in the third quarter to help the Bulldogs advance to the second round of the football playoffs with a 16-12 victory over Desert Oasis on Thursday.
The Bulldogs defense kept the Diamondbacks offense in check the first three quarters as Centennial took a 16-6 lead into the final quarter.
“Our defense stepped up big,” said Bulldogs first-year coach Leon Evans. “They’ve been the strong suit of our team all year long, and we didn’t expect anything different tonight. We played great defense and special teams and made plays on offense when we had to.”
Desert Oasis cut the Centennial lead to four points at 16-12 with a three-play, 82-yard drive capped by a Trevon Barnes 55-yard touchdown run on a quarterback option keeper.
The Diamondbacks touchdown drive took just over a minute as Barnes scored with 3:10 left to play.
Desert Oasis held Centennial to a three-and-out on the ensuing possession as the Diamondbacks got the ball back with just under two minutes remaining with a chance to take the lead.
Desert Oasis came up short in its first playoff game in school history as Barnes’ pass for Jordyn Compehos fell incomplete on fourth down with less than a minute to go.
Centennial took over with 30 seconds remaining and lined up in victory formation to give the Bulldogs a hard-fought road playoff victory.
“Tonight was one of the biggest nights in Centennial history,” Owens said. “We haven’t been to the playoffs in eight years. And then to win our first playoff game in eight years. It’s a real big deal to the school and to our community.”
Owens’ 47-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter gave the Bulldogs their largest lead of the game at 16-6.
Desert Oasis scored its first touchdown after a bizarre punt play to start the second quarter.
Diamondbacks punter Taylor Vazquez punted the ball into the wind, but a strong gust prevented the ball from ever crossing the line of scrimmage.
Because the punt never crossed the line of scrimmage, Vazquez alertly picked up the live ball and rushed 44 yards down the right sideline to the Diamondbacks 8-yard line.
Desert Oasis quarterback Trevon Barnes rushed for his first of two touchdowns two plays after the wild punt to give the Diamondbacks their only lead of the night.
Centennial defensive back Taj Cole helped the Bulldogs regain momentum of the game with a 35-yard interception return in the second quarter to set up a goal-to-go opportunity.
“That was a huge play. He made a great play. He tipped the ball up to himself and made a great catch,” Evans said of Cole’s interception. “Then he returned it down to set up one of our scores. That was a huge play.”
Centennial senior quarterback Cody Clark scored from a yard out on fourth-and-goal from the Diamondbacks 1-yard line to give the Bulldogs a lead they never relinquished.
The Bulldogs improved to 8-3 on the season with their fourth consecutive victory.
The Bulldogs travel to Palo Verde next Friday to take on the Panthers in the second round of the postseason.
The Panthers head into the second round of the playoffs with an unblemished record of 11-0.