The team’s record may not have shown it, but Century first-year head coach Todd Edmondson knew a breakthrough was coming.
In fact, despite sitting at 1-5 entering its game against South Carroll, Edmondson said he feels like his squad had been in every contest up until at least the fourth quarter this fall.
It’s the finishing that has held the Knights back.
In front of a loud Homecoming crowd against the visiting Cavaliers Friday night, Century finally put it all together and rolled its way to a 33-0 victory.
“It was a team effort tonight, all three facets of the game — special teams, offense and defense. It was all there, and you know if we had to pick a game to do it, I’m glad it was on Homecoming with the entire community in the stands,” Edmondson said. “Now we need to figure out how to treat every Friday night like it’s a Homecoming.”
Century (2-5, 2-2 county) ended up getting strong play from both of its quarterbacks. Junior Brett Kopinski and senior Collin Ende each scored a rushing touchdown, while Ende also added a score through the air to junior wide receiver Jalen Stanton.
In the fourth quarter, the Knights put the game away with two more rushing touchdowns — one each from Stephen Shinholt and Nick Jones.
South Carroll (0-3, 1-6) lost its third straight game and was shut out for the second straight week.
Century wasted little time setting the tone, taking the opening kickoff and proceeding to put together a 58-yard drive that chewed up more than six minutes off the clock. Kropinski, getting his first start of the season at quarterback, capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run up the middle, dragging several South Carroll defenders with him into the end zone.
“Brett has been taking all the reps in practice with Collin nursing an injury, so we decided to put him out there to start. And he played phenomenal,” Edmondson said. “We feel like we have two very good quarterbacks. It definitely wasn’t anything in terms of strategy today, but I thought Brett definitely got us going there.”
South Carroll moved it across midfield on its initial possession, getting big plays from Jacob Snell on the ground and a lengthy completion to Matt Gamble through the air. But the drive stalled with a couple incompletions and the Cavaliers offense sputtered for the remainder of the half — even late in the second quarter after a Century fumble gave South Carroll the ball on the Knights 30-yard line.
That drive late in the first half nearly yielded points, but a touchdown catch was called back because of offensive pass interference.
With its defense holding tight, Century added its second score midway through the second quarter. This time it was an eight-play drive capped by Ende keeping it for a 1-yard touchdown run with 7:49 left. The point-after try failed, leaving the score 13-0.
A 31-yard run by Kevin Pearson, which took the ball down to the Cavaliers 2-yard line, highlighted that second scoring drive.
“They had two nice drives going down the field for scores [in the first half] and that hurt, but having that touchdown called back was a real detriment. That would have made it a completely different game at the half,” SC coach Steve Luette said. “Then their one player took the ball out of our defenders hands in the end zone in the third quarter and that was just kind of the icing on the cake. I thought our guys played tough up until that point … then it got away from us.”
Stanton provided that highlight reel catch in the end zone for Century. The junior wide out went up in the air on a jump ball down the right sideline and snagged the 30-yard pass over top of the South Carroll defender standing in front of him to make it 20-0 with 2:27 left in the third quarter.
After that, the Cavaliers failed to convert another first down and Century’s offense methodically ran out the clock on a pair of lengthy possessions that produced two more scores.
South Carroll 0 0 0 0 — 0
Century 7 6 7 13 0 — 33
C-Brett Kropinski 13 run (Dylan Fitzgerald kick)
C-Collin Ende 1 run (kick failed)
C-Jalen Stanton 30 pass from Ende (Fitzgerald kick)
C-Stephen Shinholt 1 run (kick failed)
C-Nick Jones 25 run (Fitzgerald kick)