Tre Watson carries Corona Centennial to Inland Division crown

Tre Watson carries Corona Centennial to Inland Division crown
Corona Centennial running back Tre Watson rushed for 289 yards in the Huskies' 26-12 win over Vista Murrieta in the Inland Division championship game. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Corona Centennial High's lightning-fast offense didn't strike with the same power as its record-setting week before, but it was good enough to give the team the CIF Inland Division championship.

Led by Cal-bound running back Tre Watson, the Huskies defeated Vista Murrieta, 26-12, in the title game Friday night at Centennial High.


Receiver Greyson Bankhead caught an 86-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Robert Webber with 8 minutes 7 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to provide some separation.

Watson, a week after pacing his team to 946 yards and 86 points at Upland with 519 yards on the ground, led the Huskies to a 20-12 halftime edge by running 29 times for 209 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with 46 carries for 289 yards.

Centennial (11-2) ran 46 plays in just 13 minutes 3 seconds of possession in the first half as Webber paid no mind to the play clock, hurriedly setting his team at the line and snapping the ball.

Webber's 20-yard touchdown pass to Eric Locklin gave his team a 20-3 lead with 9:40 left in the second quarter.

Playing the Huskies in the CIF title game for the fourth consecutive year, Vista Murrieta (12-1) stayed close with the help of 30- and 45-yard field goals by kicker Aaron Ruth.

It was Centennial's miscues that short-circuited the winner's attempt to follow its home fans' cheer to "show no mercy!"

Webber had three passes intercepted in the first half, two by defensive back Kwesi Mashack-Phillips. Two of the picks came with the Huskies leading 20-6, and a Centennial muffed punt set up Ruth's second field goal.

The third interception gave Vista Murrieta possession at the Huskies' 32-yard line, and five plays later, Randy Beggs took a lateral pass and threw 21 yards to Darryl Denby for a touchdown that made it 20-12 with nine seconds left in the half.

The Broncos remained within eight points by stuffing Watson on a fourth and one late in the third quarter, and even moved into Huskies territory thanks to the running of Tito Feliciano, who gained more than 100 yards.

But on the first play of the fourth quarter, a pass to Jamie Nunley was fumbled back to Centennial.

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