ROSWELL, Ga. – After losing their first five games and yielding at least 34 points in all five contests, the Centennial Knights turned in a defensive gem last Friday night to score their first victory of the season – and a convincing one at that.
The Knights rolled past previously undefeated Lambert 26-7 in one of the bigger surprises of the high school football season, dropping the Longhorns into a four-way tie for second in Region 6-AAAAAA.
Centennial (1-2 in the region, 1-5 overall) limited Lambert (2-1, 5-1) to 160 yards total offense, just 62 yards in the first half.
“Defensively, we really played well,” first year Centennial head coach Jeff Carlberg said. “Our defensive line dominated the game, and the secondary was really good.”
The Knights contained Lambert’s usually efficient wing-T offense. Leading the way for Centennial were defensive linemen Lorenzo McWilliams, Caleb Howard, Lloyd Glenn and Reggie Ben-Asemota.
“We did a good job not giving up the big play,” Carlberg said. “I don’t think they gained more than 15 yards on a play.”
Linebackers Andrew Estes, Patrick Risse and Ryan Bennett also made key contributions, Carlberg said. He also credited Bennett for handling the defensive calls from his middle linebacker position.
The Centennial secondary also did its job, limiting the Longhorns to just one completion in 11 attempts for 6 yards.
“I think we’re becoming more confident with our scheme,” Carlberg said, with the Knights benefiting from an off week prior to the Lambert game.
Offensively, Centennial got another big game from the team’s top player – wide receiver Christian Robinson. The Knights led 20-7 at the half, with Robinson scoring all three touchdowns on passes from quarterback Chase Rosenberg.
Robinson finished with 11 receptions for 145 yards, including touchdown receptions of 21, 85 and 6 yards. His 85-yard TD catch broke a 7-7 tie, and after the Knights’ defense recovered a fumble, Robinson caught his third scoring pass of the half.
Another Lambert fumble led to the only score of the second half, a 5-yard run by the Knights’ Cyril Teal.
Centennial has a chance to build some momentum after the win over Lambert, hosting the region’s two winless teams the next two weeks. The Knights are at home Friday night against South Forsyth, and play North Forsyth next week.