It didn’t take long for Century High School’s football team to assert its dominance.
The Knights grabbed the momentum with a big return and an early score, and never looked back in a 28-7 road victory Friday over Carroll County Athletic League rival Winters Mill.
Century returner Dereik Crosby II set the Knights (2-2, 1-1 CCAL) up nicely on their opening drive by returning the opening kickoff out to the 46-yard line. The county’s leading rusher, Landon Bruce followed with a 9-yard run, then busted off a 46-yard TD dash for an early 7-0 lead.
Winters Mill seemed poised to respond as quarterback Matheo Cuenca started the game hot, completing his first five passes and moving the Falcons deep into Century territory. Cuenca’s first incompletion seemed to deflate WM’s offense as the drive bogged down at the 10. The Knights forced another incomplete pass on fourth down and the Century offense took over from there.
Bruce continued to rack up the yards with runs of 14 yards and 9 yards, while Erik Harrel had a 6-yard run to help set up the Knights inside the Falcons’ 10-yard line as the first quarter came to a close.
On the first play of the second quarter, fullback Dylan Wardle took the hand-off from Bruce out of the “Wildcat” formation and punched it in to give the Knights a 14-0 lead.
After its initial drive, the Falcons (2-2, 1-1) had difficulty moving the ball down the field. The next three drives for Winters Mill resulted in two punts and a turnover on downs. Cuenca struggled to find open Falcon receivers, and when he did find an open receiver Century’s defense swarmed and limited WM to a short gain.
Winters Mill stayed in the game with a couple of booming punts that backed the Knights up in the third quarter. After the Falcons’ second drive stalled, a 45-yard punt pinned Century back inside their own 15. Bruce fumbled the snap a play later and had to fall on the ball inside the Knights’ own 5-yard line.
Century punted out of its own end zone at that set up the Falcons’ offense up with great field position in Century territory. Helped out by a personal foul penalty, the Falcons cashed in on that drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Cuenca to Andrew Buzzeo to cut the deficit to 14-7.
The Knights responded in a big way on the ensuing drive. A long run by Crosby set the Knights up in the red zone as the third quarter ended. Runs by Crosby, Bruce, and Wardle moved Century inside the WM 10-yard line and Wardle capped the drive with a 4-yard plunge to take the lead back to 21-7.
After another WM punt, Century salted the game away, melting time off the clock as it drove deep into Falcons’ territory. That drive capped the scoring with another short touchdown run by Wardle.
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Century improved to 13-4 in the all-time series against the Falcons. Winters Mill has not beaten the Knights since 2011.