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Knights get win to open season



ROSBORO – The Centerpoint Knights soundly defeated the Paris Eagles 35-14 last Friday night to start out the season with a win.
“You never know what to expect from the kids the first game out, and there was times at the scrimmage we looked kinds shaky. But we came out and played well – it took us a little while to get going on offense, but the defense stopped them and got some turnovers and kept us in it for a quarter until we got some points,” said Centerpoint High School Head Coach Cary Rogers.
The defense was key, collecting three fumbles, an interception and forcing two punts in the Eagles’ first seven possessions. Only a 95 yard kickoff return for a TD marred the streak.
It looked as rough on the Centerpoint side of the ball initially, when two punts an interception and a fumble comprised the sum total of the Knights first four possessions.
A 57 yard drive to start the second quarter culminated with a 23 yard TD pass from Keenan Owens to Lance Chambers set the score a 7-0 after the PAT.
The lead was not for long, however, Paris returned the kickoff 95 yards for a TD and took the lead 8-7 on a converted two point conversion.
“It was attributable to it being the first game … it just took us a while to get rolling,” said Rogers. “Additionally, compared to most games during the year, you have a very limited amount of film you can see on the other team, and what film you see is just scrimmage quality play, so you see coaches trying a lot of new things – so you really don’t know what you’re going to see until you get out there, and I think that was part of it for both teams, it took a quarter for both of us to figure out what the other team was doing and what we might have success with. Both teams started looking better in the second quarter.”
After collecting an interception deep in the Paris end of the field, the Knights took a 14-8 lead on a TD pass from Owens to Dustin Forsythe.
The lead was extended on the next series to 21-8 with a 60 yard drive that ended with a 9 yard TD pass from Owens to Chambers.
Not to be outdone, the Eagles would drive 63 yards for a TD with eight second left in the half. The two point try was no good, and the halftime score stood at 21-14.
In the second half, the heat began to take its toll on players from both teams.
“I’m not aware of any serious injuries,” said Rogers. “There were some cramps, on both sides … it was just so humid.
Rogers said he hoped the extended forecast held and the weather would be cooler this week.
“Hopefully that will pay off for us.”
Two one yard rushing touchdowns in the third – by Jared Graves and Logan Taylor – capped the scoring and set the final margin at 35-14.
The Knights threw the ball 39 times as opposed to 30 rushes, however the pass greatly outpaced the rush 306 yards to 37 yards.
In the game Owens went 20-39-1 with 306 yards and 3 TDs passing. Besides Chambers, Owens completed passes to Forsythe 4-59-1, Cameron Clower 4-71, Giovanni Valdez 3-33 and Taylor 2-22.
The offense notched 17 first downs and 333 total yards. As a team, Centerpoint amassed only four penalties for 28 yards.
Taylor was highly successful at moments as the Centerpoint punter, notching 6 punts with a long of 46 yards.
“The pass is just what was there,” said Rogers. “Paris was loading up to stop the run, and they did,” he said in noting the slightly more than 1 yard per rush average. But as many people as they had up there, our rushing attempts kept the clock moving, especially late in the game, and since they were already up there to stop the run, it reinforced them to keep enough people up there to stop it if we weren’t able to throw the ball. I think if we had abandoned it completely, then their pass rush would have amped up a notch and they’d have gotten more people in coverage. We need to balance up most nights, to have success, and I think the 30 rushes helped us do that.”
In fact, Owens set a single game record for completions with 20, breaking the previous record of 18 set by Chase Beebe in 2013 against both Two Rivers and Benton Harmony Grove.
Rogers also felt Chambers had a good game at wide receiver with 7 catches for 121 and 2 TDs.
“I thought the defense played outstanding … allowing 171 yards on 38 plays. Our speed and pursuit was key,” he said, acknowledging Paris’ superior size. “We’ve got several kids that are pretty strong for their size – sometimes on the inside there is no substitute for size and weight, but our kids did a good job of staying low and getting under them.”
Ultimately the coaching staff felt Paris was a “quality opponent ranked several spots ahead of us and picked to win, so it certainly felt good to get the win.”

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