Winona Christian football coach Junior Graham knew his Stars would have their hands full against Centreville on Friday night, despite their 6-5 record.
Graham knew what he was talking about.
The Tigers scored on the last play of the first half and used that momentum to take a 38-14 win and end the Stars’ season.
Winona Christian ends the campaign with an 8-4 record.
Graham said when it was all said and done with, Centreville’s speed was too much for his team. Centreville improves to 7-5 on the season and will travel to Sylva-Bay for the Class 2A semifinals.
"They were just a better team,” Graham said. “We were able to get them out of that two tight, double wing offense, which we thought we wanted to do. But when they went to the spread, we just couldn’t stop them. They were just so much faster than we were. And they executed screens and trick plays to perfection, stuff we had never seen. They were just better than us.”
The Stars got the ball and drove down the field and scored first as Latham Hill hit Choice Diffey on a 14-yard touchdown pass. Blake Marlow booted the PAT and Winona Christian led 7-0.
Centreville answered with a 69-yard run but failed on the two-point conversion as Winona held onto a 7-6 lead.
The Stars answered right back as they hit a big run with Corley Goss scoring on a 96-yard run. Marlow’s PAT gave Winona a 14-6 lead early in the second quarter.
The Tigers answered right back with another long drive as they scored on a 23-yard run. The try for two failed and Winona held a 14-12 lead.
The Tigers got the ball back right before the half and scored on a 19-yard pass. The try for two was good and Centerville led 22-14 at the half.
"They scored with one second left in the half and that was a back breaker,” Graham said. “And then they just came out and whipped us in the second half. We just never responded. We just couldn’t get them off the field. They had more than 60 snaps on offense and we had 41 and just 15 in the first half. It was just unbelievable how tough those guys are.
“It would be different if we played terrible but that wasn’t the case. They were just better and can flat our run.”
The Tigers continued to extend their lead in the second half with a pair of 18-yard runs.
"It was a good year,” Graham said. “There is a difference between a good year and a great year. Great years end with trophies. But this was definitely a good year and it was rewarding on my part.”
The Stars had 238 yards of total offense with 163 yards rushing and 75 passing. Hill was 7-of-17 passing while Dalton Wiggins had 37 yards receiving on three catches. Goss had 137 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Colby Marlow led the defense with 14 tackles while Hayden Self had 13 tackles and Blake Marlow had 12 stops.