No. 7 Corona Centennial 48, Riv. Poly 6

RIVERSIDE -- The Corona Centennial football team moved the ball at will Thursday night against Riverside Poly, pulled its starters late in the third quarter at Ramona High and built such a large lead that a running clock was instituted during the fourth quarter.

And still Centennial coach Matt Logan had a look of chagrin after the 48-6 victory in the Big VIII League opener for both teams.

“We’ve got a ton of room for improvement, more than we probably need,” he said. “It’s disappointing because I expected us to really progress this week.”

The Huskies, ranked No. 7 in the Southland by ESPNLA, were again hampered by ill-timed penalties and costly turnovers, the kind of mistakes they could get away with against Riverside Poly but which cost them a victory earlier this season against St. Bonaventure and forced them to come from behind late in the game to beat Mater Dei.

Centennial had two touchdowns called back in the first half on holding penalties and another long run inside the five-yard line wiped out by a yellow flag.

Riverside Poly scored its only touchdown after the ball was snapped over the head of quarterback Hayden Gavett and the Bears recovered at the Huskies 32.

“Obviously we had some snapping issues,” said Logan, who earned his 150th victory not quite halfway through his 15th season at the school.

To the Huskies defense, they were playing without starting center John Hamilton, who sat out because of a sore Achilles tendon. Another starting offensive lineman, left tackle Lio Lafaele, left the game because of a sore knee.

“He had surgery on it in the offseason, so it was just more of a precautionary thing,” Logan said of Lafaele, one of four returning starters on the offensive line.

The Huskies need to be careful with their injuries and find a way to clean up their act, as they face perhaps their toughest test in league play next week, hosting undefeated J.W. North. Logan says he expects both Hamilton and Lafaele to be ready for the Huskies. Whether they can avoid any further mistakes is yet to be seen.

“You make mistakes against those guys, they’re touchdowns,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to get ready.”

Gavett has definitely been a bright spot this season. He completed 12 of 18 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns against the Bears.

Running back Romello Goodman also chipped in 120 rushing yards in 11 carries and scored twice.

Even the reserves for Centennial proved to be too much for Riverside Poly, outscoring the Bears starters, 14-0.