Corona Centennial outlast Alemany, 36-32, in offensive battle
Clinging to a four-point lead and facing fourth and 11 at the opponents’ 38-yard line with mere seconds left, Corona Centennial chose not to play it safe.
Quarterback Robert Webber threw a hitch pass to Chase Krivashei, who ran up the sideline for a game-clinching first down as the host Huskies came from behind to defeat Mission Hills Alemany, 36-32.
“We were going to go for it either way,” Huskies Coach Matt Logan said. “The question was which play we would run to give him [Krivashei] the ball.”
Tre Watson’s four-yard touchdown run gave Centennial a 36-32 lead with 9:45 left in the fourth quarter, then Alemany quarterback Devon Dunn was hurried and threw incomplete on fourth and nine at the Huskies’ 25-yard line. The Warriors never got the ball back.
Austin Renken ran for 223 and two touchdowns in 32 carries, and Watson added 111 yards and three touchdowns in 12 carries for Centennial (2-1) in a game with lead and momentum swings on every possession.
Alemany (3-1) took a 10-point lead on Deshone Randall’s one-yard run, but the Huskies answered with a 10-play, 80-yard drive capped by Renken’s 11-yard run and Webber’s two-point conversion pass to Ryan Pascarella that cut Centennial’s deficit to 32-30 late in the third quarter. Dunn completed 12 of 21 passes for 223 yards but was sacked six times. Steven Mitchell caught seven passes for 152 yards and one touchdown for the Warriors, ranked third by The Times.
“The defense was a little off tonight,” Mitchell said. “We just have to do a little better.”
There were four lead changes in the first half alone. Alemany took a 26-22 lead into halftime when Dunn connected with Mitchell for 56 yards over the middle, then found him for a seven-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds left in the second quarter.
“We learned about our heart and our perseverance in our first game when we lost [to Ventura St. Bonaventure],” Logan said. “It wasn’t going our way in the first half tonight, but we hung in there and I think their linemen got worn down a bit in the second half.”
Centennial (2-1), ranked 11th by The Times, took its first lead, 15-13, on Watson’s 36-yard run and his subsequent two-point conversion run with 9:42 left in the second quarter.
Dunn’s five-yard scoring run from put Alemany back in front, 19-15, but his two-point conversion pass fell incomplete. Centennial answered with a nine-play, 84-yard drive capped by Renken’s five-yard run that gave the Huskies a 22-19 lead.
Mitchell’s 53-yard punt return gave the Warriors a 7-0 lead 49 seconds into the game. Dunn shook several tackles in the backfield to score on a 10-yard keeper to increase the margin to 13-0.
“I had to scream and yell at the punt team at halftime, but after that we refocused and knew we were still in the game,” Logan said. “Their quarterback was tough but we got some good pressure on him and made him throw it quicker than he wanted.”
Watson’s one-yard plunge cut Centennial’s deficit to 13-7 with 33 seconds left in the first quarter.
“Our offensive line did a terrific job and Austin and Tre did a lot on their own too,” Logan said. “We kept rotating them in and out and it’s a great one-two punch.”
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