Centreville to face familiar foe in Brookhaven Academy

Published 12:49 am Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CENTREVILLE — In their quest to win a third straight MAIS Class AA state championship, the Centreville Tigers are about to face perhaps their toughest challenge.

On Friday, the Tigers (9-3) will travel to Brookhaven to take on the Brookhaven Academy Cougars, the No. 1 ranked team in Class AA.

While the Cougars (12-0) are a tough opponent, they are also a familiar one for Centreville. The two teams met in the regular season, with Brookhaven taking a 45-30 victory.

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Centreville assistant coach Brian Stutzman says the defense must play much better this time if the Tigers want to advance to the South State championship game next week.

“We’ve got to play better defense to slow them down,” Stutzman said. “Anytime you give up 45 points there’s a problem. We’ve got to do a better job of being at the right place and being able to tackle. We were in the right place last time played them, but just couldn’t make the tackle. A big key for us try is to force turnovers and make tackles.”

Brookhaven Academy boasts a potent passing attack featuring quarterback Chandler Rogers.

“They throw the ball as good as anybody in the state,” Stutzman said. “They throw the ball well and also have the ability to run it too. If you put pressure on Chandler he can pull it down and run it and be very effective.”

And Stutzman is hoping Centreville’s run-oriented offense will help out its defense by having several long, clock-killing drives.

“We’re a run oriented offense,” Stutzman said. “Our offense should aid us in our defense. As long as they don’t have the ball they can’t score.”

And the player that the Tigers offense leans on the most is senior running back Zach Sinclair. Sinclair rushed for 297 yards and scored six touchdowns in Centreville’s 46-38 win over Glenbrook last Friday, including scoring the winning touchdown on a 1-yard rush with just 33 seconds left.

“Zach is a special kid,” Stutzman said. “He seems to be able to step up when the time gets here and he hasn’t let us down yet.”