Football: No. 1 Corona Centennial rolls past Gardena Serra, 52-13

Corona Centennial, ranked No. 1 by The Times, took on No. 5 Gardena Serra in a nonleague game on Saturday night at Oceanside High as part of the Honor Bowl. The Cavaliers couldn’t keep up with an improved Centennial defense.

Centennial (2-0) rolled to a 52-13 victory. Serra (1-1) was missing quarterback Khalil Tate (ejection last week), but it’s doubtful even his presence could have changed the game’s outcome.

The game started with standout receiver Javon McKinley taking the opening kickoff from the 15-yard line to the Serra one. Centennial’s first four touchdowns were one-yard runs, three by JJ Taylor.

The Huskies’ offense took what Serra’s defense gave them. They focused on stopping McKinley, so quarerback Anthony Catalano relied on Taylor, who had 115 yards rushing in the first half.


Backup quarterback Tanner McKee fired a 78-yard touchdown pass to McKinley in the third quarter. The Huskies led, 49-0.

Chacho Ulloa and Reggie Whitfield each had interceptions for Centennial. Jalani Eason had a 79-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Burton at the end of the third quarter for Serra. Eason added a 29-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter and finished with 242 yards passing.

A running clock was used in the fourth quarter. It was a completely different game than the last meeting between the two schools during the Pac-5 playoffs last season that ended with Centennial winning, 68-64.

Centennial plays 2-0 Orange Lutheran on Friday at Orange Coast College. Serra plays Carson next week.