Centreville gets No. 6

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 20, 1999

CLINTON – For Centreville, winning one championship is sweet. To repeat is divine.

Centreville’s Matthew Tolbert scored three rushing touchdowns and Rich Newman caught a critical 2-point conversion which lifted Centreville Academy over Heritage Academy 20-19 Friday night for the MPSA Class 3A state championship at Mississippi College.

Centreville, 11-3, finished 14-0 last year on its ways to its fifth state championship.

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Tiger head coach Bill Hurst and his team learned that it is harder to repeat as champions.

&uot;I came into the game concerned because I knew that hunger would be a problem for this team because they had already won a state championship last year,&uot; Hurst said.

Both teams tried to establish the run early in the game. Centreville fed Heritage a steady dose of Matthew Tolbert around end and up the middle.

Centreville’s first score was a result of a blocked punt by Rob Robertson. Tolbert scored on an 8-yard run to put Centreville ahead 6-0.

Heritage answered by returning the ensuing kick off 65 yards. Heritage drove to the Centreville 19-yard line but could only muster a Rob Whitaker 34-yard field goal.

Centreville continued to run the ball, and Heritage stacked the line of scrimmage.

Heritage jumped out to a 9-6 lead after Josh McEwen ran the ball in from the 3-yard line.

Two Heritage facemask penalties helped Centreville move the ball down the field. Tolbert scored his second touchdown on a 3-yard run. The conversion failed

Centreville started its next drive from its own 25-yard line. Benefits from two facemask penalties and a number of Tolbert runs put them deep into Heritage territory . With 4:09 left Tolbert would score on a 3-yard run. The conversion failed and Centreville led 12-9.

On the next series Centreville forced Heritage to punt. The snap sailed over the punters head. He recovered the ball and ran 15 yards for a first down.

McEwen scored on 39-yard touchdown catch as the Centreville defender slipped on the play. Heritage led 16-12 at the half.

Heritage began the second half scoring by taking advantage of a Centreville special teams miscue.

Robert&160;Whitaker kicked a 39-yard field goal to increase the lead to 19-16.

The third quarter ended with McEwen fumbling the ball and Centreville recovering inside the Patriots 40-yard line. Centreville fed the ball to Tolbert and he scored his third and eventual winning touchdown from 1-yard out.

Heritage coach Ray Weeks lamented about the costly turnovers. &uot;At practice this week we stressed ball control and not turning the ball over,&uot; Weeks said.

The Centreville defense held as Heritage threatened toward the end of the game.

Heritage Ryan Waldrop threw an interception in the end zone with 2:16 left to play allowing Centreville to run out the clock.