With Lance Liu rushing for 290 yards, the Centennial Cougars plowed through their playoff opener with a 35-14 conquest of Eastview on Friday night, capped by a wild fourth quarter.
The Cougars led 14-0 after three quarters. In the fourth, they tallied three more touchdowns and gave up two, all five of them on short runs.
Liu, senior fullback, carried 19 times and averaged 15.3 yards per attempt, scoring three touchdowns. His 290-yard burst gives him 1,026 on 173 carries for the season, with eight touchdowns.
The Cougars (5-4), seeded third in their quadrant, advanced to the second round of the 32-team Class 6A playoffs against No. 2 St. Michael-Albertville (5-4) on Friday, 7 p.m.
The Cougars led 7-0 at halftime on quarterback Daylen Cummings’ eight-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Liu busted 53 yards in the third quarter to make it 14-0.
In the fourth, the Cougars were up 21-0 after Liu’s five-yard score. Eastview (3-6) got on the board with Tyler Jerstad’s three-yard run. Centennial responded with TD’s by Liu (three yards) and Collin Lee (five yards). Eastview closed it out with Ibrahim Awada’s two-yard TD.
Cummings completed four of seven passes for 20 yards and ran eight times for 31 yards. Lance Nielsen Jr. gained 27 yards in two carries and Nicky Eichelberger gained 22 yards in his lone carry. The Cougars had 382 yards rushing.
Cummings and Lee each intercepted a pass. Chase Granzow averaged a robust 41 yards on five punts. Eli Nowacki was 5-for-5 on extra points.
The Cougars now face an STMA team to whom they lost 19-16 in the second week of the season while scoring two defensive touchdowns.