Brent Ullery remains perfect as Centerville High School's head football coach. He insists he doesn't deserve the credit.
"Nobody believes me," Ullery said. "I'm telling you. I don't do much. I really don't. I have figured out the secret to being successful, though. It's just surrounding yourself with good people. I've got great coaches. I've got great players. And most importantly, I've got a great wife."
Ullery, a 2003 Centerville graduate and the son of former Centerville coach Ron Ullery, took over the program in April. His Elks are off to their first 4-0 start since 2014 after a 24-12 victory Friday against Springfield at Evans Stadium. The Wildcats (3-1) suffered their first loss but are still off to their best start since 2010.
Quarterback Alec Grandin starred as Centerville led from start to finish. He completed 20-of-34 passes for 233 yards with three touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 49 yards on 12 carries.
Grandin has thrown eight touchdown passes in four games. That's already one more than he had last season in his first year as a starter.
"He's a tough, gritty kid," Ullery said. "That's what we expect out of him. He's not doing anything that we would call extraordinary. He's just doing his job and doing it well. He's spreading the ball around. He's got a lot of good people around him and a lot of good people in front of him."
The Elks led 17-0 at halftime thanks to a 36-yard touchdown pass from Grandin to Donovan Shelton, a 32-yard field goal by Brandon Walters and a 58-yard touchdown pass from Grandin to Jake Spiewak, who led the Elks with eight catches for 110 yards.
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Grandin threw his third touchdown pass in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, connecting with JR Melzer for a 28-yard score.
Tavion Smoot scored both touchdowns for Springfield. He gained 59 yards on 14 carries. The Wildcats had an extra point blocked on the first touchdown and failed on a conversion pass after the second.
Springfield quarterback Leonard Taylor completed 16 of 32 passes for 161 yards with an interception. Caleb Johnson caught eight passes for 95 yards.
Springfield ran seven minutes off the clock on its first drive but was forced to punt. That was a sign of offensive problems to come.
"You've got to put it in," Springfield coach Maurice Douglass said. "You've got to take advantage of your opportunities when you get to the red zone. We had some turnovers again. You can't do that against good teams."
The Elks avenged a last-second, 26-20 loss to Springfield in 2016. Taylor threw a 38-yard pass to Danny Davis as time expired at Centerville a year ago.
Centerville used that loss as motivation in the days leading up to this game.
"We talked about coming up here and how it's an environment we're not used to and going on the road in the GWOC against a good team," Ullery said. "We take everything into account. We leave no stone unturned."