The pinch-me moments have not let up for Centerville High School football. It’s still too early to rank the Elks among the program’s many all-time great teams, but it sure looks like they belong.
Unbeaten Centerville landed a solid 31-19 defeat of visiting Springboro before a capacity crowd on Thursday night. That pushed the Elks to 5-0. Coupled with a Week 4 win at Springfield, it confirms Centerville is a Greater Western Ohio Conference National East and Division I, Region 3 contender.
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“This being my senior year, it’s been special,” said standout receiver Jake Spiewak. “We’re doing all the right things. We just want to keep making this run and keep making the magic happen.”
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Elks senior quarterback Alec Grandin made sure there was plenty of that to pass around. He had four touchdown passes, two each to Donny Shelton and Spiewak, and completed 20 of 29 passes for 238 yards and no picks in yet another masterful showing.
Grandin surpassed 1,000 passing yards and has 12 touchdown passes. That run-heavy veer offense that was so good to the Elks for so long? Just a pleasant memory, now.
“This win kind of shows all of our hard work over the summer is paying off,” Grandin said. “Being at Centerville and having coach Ullery back, I think it makes a statement for us for the rest of the year.”
That would be Brent Ullery, in his first season as the Elks’ head coach after succeeding Rodney Roberts. If Ullery’s name sounds familiar, it should. He’s the son of former Elks head coach Ron Ullery. Coincidentally, Ron has been the offensive line coach at Springboro since leaving Centerville after the 2013 season.
“He said I’ll call you (Friday),” Brent said of his father. “I think he knew there was going to be a lot of hoopla around a Thursday night game. I know he’s probably happy for me just like I’d be happy for him when he wins.”
Centerville has defeated Springboro two straight seasons and owns six wins in the eight-game GWOC crossover series. Springboro last won 50-49 in a memorable regulation shootout in 2015.
However, the setback leaves Springboro (1-4) reeling with all of its GWOC National West schedule remaining.
“They’re undefeated for a reason,” Springboro coach Ryan Wilhite said. “We’re the team that at times can’t get out of our own way.”
Spiewak (108 yards) and Shelton (80) each had six catches for the Elks and senior running back Ross Harmon added 74 yards rushing.
Springboro senior quarterback Cameron Rountree was most effective running. He rushed for 158 yards and had scoring runs of 22 and 18 yards.
The win secures Centerville’s top spot in the D-I, Region 3 computer rankings, but a major reshuffling is due. No. 2 Fairmont (4-0) is at No. 5 Beavercreek (4-0) on Friday. Next up for Centerville is a Week 6 showdown at rival Wayne (3-1), which is at Northmont (3-1) also on Friday.
All those GWOC teams are among the top nine in Region 3 and Miamisburg is No. 10.
“We’re blessed,” said Brent Ullery. “We’ve been lucky. We’ve been really good. We’ve been bad at times, but the kids have been resilient. They’ve gotten what their work deserves.”