CORONA -- A casual observer might look at the final score of the Big VIII League game between Corona Centennial and J.W. North and consider it a shootout.
In reality, the game was over before halftime.
Centennial scored 42 points in the first 13 1/2 minutes Friday night, then cruised to a 52-34 victory against the visiting Huskies.
Centennial pulled its starters with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter and J.W. North took advantage by scoring two fourth-quarter touchdowns against the reserves to make the score closer than the game ever was.
“I was really happy with our play, especially the first-team units,” said Centennial coach Matt Logan. “The first-team defense only gave up two touchdowns to a very good offensive team.”
Despite hardly moving the ball in the fourth quarter, Centennial still finished with 573 yards of total offense.
Romello Goodman rushed for 223 of his 229 yards in the first half, and all three of his touchdowns. Centennial quarterback Hayden Gavett finished with 139 yards rushing in five carries and also scored three first-half touchdowns. He contributed another 178 yards through the air, including a 34-yard touchdown pass to Chase Krivashei, his final play before exiting the game.
“We thought they were going to come out and it was going to be a shootout,” Goodman said. “We put together out best game of offense this year.”
Logan said before the game he planned to keep it simple and run the ball up the middle. His game plan worked right from the start, as Goodman ran 65 yards for a touchdown on Centennial’s first play from scrimmage.
“We saw how big and lanky they were on the outside so we just wanted to punch it right in the middle,” said offensive tackle Cameron Hunt.
Working their no-huddle offense to perfection, the Huskies (4-1, 2-0) needed six plays to score their second touchdown, one to score their third, two for their fifth and one for their sixth.
“We knew that they were physical and all, but we knew that our fast offense could tire them out,” said offensive tackle Lio Lafaele.
Things got so bad for J.W. North (4-1, 1-1), when the offense finally scored a touchdown with 7:39 left in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 42-13, wide receiver/defensive end Aaron Peck, considered the best player in the Big VIII League by Logan, injured his ankle on the 19-yard touchdown reception and did not return.
J.W. North quarterback Justin Gheorghe did find some other targets, finishing with 319 yards passing, but it was too little too late.