Centennial quarterback Connor Zulk (7) keeps the ball on a second-quarter play against St. Michael-Albertville Friday night. Zulk scored earlier on a 68-yard score for the game's only touchdown. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
Centennial quarterback Connor Zulk rushed for a 68-yard touchdown on the fourth snap Friday against St. Michael-Albertville.
The Cougars defense did the rest, yielding less than 200 yards, including no rushing plays longer than 9 yards, in leading host Centennial to a 7-0 victory over the Knights, ranked No. 3 in Class 6A.
Zulk, a 6-3, 205-pound senior, finished with 161 yards on 19 carries. The Cougars (5-2), ranked 10th in Class 6A, rushed for 247 yards on 41 attempts. Their defense forced turnovers on downs both times St. Michael-Albertville (5-2) reached the red zone.
“[Our defensive coaches] just did such a good job preparing our kids,” Centennial coach Mike Diggins said. “We weren’t surprised by anything.”
On offense the Cougars employed their triple-option run game, with Zulk using a series of fake handoffs and pitches to keep the Knights' defense guessing.
"On any play, three guys could have the ball," he said of his offense. "It really tricks guys on defense."
Centennial forced St. Michael-Albertville to punt on its first offensive possession and got a turnover on downs on the Cougars 16-yard line early in the second quarter, halting a 17-play drive by the Knights. The Cougars also stopped the Knights on downs at the 13-yard line early in the fourth quarter, ending an 81-yard drive.
Centennial's Jake Pierson (28) breaks up a pass intended for STMA’s Kale Hoselton (43) during the second half Friday night. The Cougars’ defense held strong in their 7-0 victory at home over the Knights. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
The Cougars (5-2) rushed for over 250 yards, led by Connor Zulk, a 6-3, 205-pound quarterback, who had an unofficial 178 rushing yards.
Junior running back David Collins led St. Michael-Albertville (5-2) with 68 yards rushing. The Knights twice drove the ball inside the Centennial 20-yard line but turned it over on downs each time.
Check back later for more on the game played Friday evening.
St. Michael-Albertville's David Collins (10) dashes through a hole on his way to a nice gain against Centennial Friday night. The Knights fell to the Cougars 7-0 at Centennial High School. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine