Mustering just 14-first half points through three weeks, Centerville spent the last seven days focusing on getting its offense out of the blocks with a little more explosion.
The results were instant Friday.
Scoring on four of its five first-half possessions, Centerville opened up a 28-0 halftime lead en route to a 49-14 win over neighboring Miamisburg in a Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover game at Centerville Stadium.
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Centerville, averaging 283 yards of offense per game, had 300 in the first two quarters and ended with 467.
The Elks improve to 2-2. Miamisburg drops to 1-3.
“That was our whole goal during the week,” Centerville head coach Brent Ullery said. “We’ve been starting slow and we want to fix that. We wanted to start fast and that’s why you saw what you saw. That was our answer.”
Said sophomore quarterback Chase Harrison: “Once we get going, we don’t stop.”
In the teams’ only two previous meetings since 1973 – blowout Centerville wins by the combined score of 123-0 in 2008 and 2009 – the Elks threw nine combined passes.
Friday, Harrison threw eight on the first drive.
Finishing 22-of-31 for 299 yards, Harrison matched last week’s career-high four touchdown passes (in a 35-6 win over Dunbar) with four more and added one rushing. Harrison, who ended last year with nine touchdown passes, has 10 through four weeks.
Sophomore Cam Smith caught seven passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Will Linkert had nine catches for 86 yards and a score. Harrison’s fourth touchdown pass went to senior Connor Walls.
Senior running back Bryce McMahon carried the ball 22 times for 119 yards and a touchdown for the Elks.
“Harrison is a great quarterback, Bryce is an awesome running back and the O-Line is blocking their big butts off,” Ullery said. “When they are all playing well and playing together, they are a pretty dangerous group.”
“It’s hard to stop,” Harrison said. “We’re dangerous and I think we have something special here in Centerville.”
Miamisburg is building a brand, too.
In his first year guiding the Vikings, veteran head coach Lance Schneider (107-63 in 16 seasons at Northmont with eight GWOC division titles and eight Division I playoff appearances) is replacing the Wing-T with an RPO offense.
“We’ve got to stick to the course and believe in the plan,” Schneider said. “It’s worked before – and it will work again.”
In the second half, the Vikings flexed their potential. Freshman running back Christian Davis scored on runs of 44- and 5 yards to close the gap to 35-14 with 6:29 to play.
Said Schneider: “He’s special.”
Centerville capped the scoring with an 84-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Caleb Miller with 13 seconds to go.
“That’s kind of been our story,” Schneider said. “The first week we played two pretty good halves and beat a pretty good team (Walnut Hills) and since then we’ve come out and stunk it up for the first half of three straight games. I am proud of the way that the kids responded in the second half for the second straight week. They don’t quit.”
Davis ended with 131 yards on 18 carries.
There were only four penalties in the game. Miamisburg was whistled for one.
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