A new era of Centreville High football launched off in successful fashion last Friday night as the Wildcats, under their first year head coach Chris Haddock, soundly defeated visiting Annandale, 28-6.
Centreville, which went 3-7 last year in Gerry Pannoni’s final season at the helm of the program, scored a pair of touchdowns in both the first and second quarters to take control against the Atoms, who rushed the football for just 48 yards on the night against a staunch Wildcats’ defense.
Haddock, who grew up in Centreville, was hired as the Wildcats’ football coach last March following three years in the same position at Fairfax High School, where he helped build the Rebels into a playoff team. He said last Friday’s stadium energy level from the home team Centreville fans was a thrill to be a part of in his first game as the Wildcats’ head coach.
“I am very proud to be the coach at Centreville,” said Haddock. “I have always considered it to be one of the elite programs in the area and it is indeed an honor to be in charge. There was a great atmosphere in the stadium Friday night and I hope that continues all year.”
The local fandom had lots to be happy with as the Wildcats scored the four first half touchdowns – two on runs from junior running back Connor Coward, and two on passes from senior quarterback Chance Roman, who was an efficient 6-of-8 for 159 yards and the two scores. The signal caller’s touchdown passes went to junior receiver Chase Walter (34 yard scoring reception) and junior running back Manny Smith (73 yarder).
Smith had a huge game, running the ball 17 times for 129 yards and scoring on the long touchdown pass play.
Annandale, trailing 28-0 at the half, scored its lone touchdown in the third quarter. It was a solid, all-around strong game for Centreville.
“The kids have worked really hard this summer and during camp and played very well in the opener,” said Haddock. “The defense played well, holding a very physical and solid Annandale squad to only six points. There is room for improvement in all areas but overall it was a very good start for our team.”
Centreville will be at home again this Friday night at 7:30 against Edison. The Eagles, members of the National District and annually one of the better Div. 5 teams in the Northern Region, opened up their season last Thursday night with a 29-14 home loss to West Springfield.
<b>Westfield Loses Defensive Dual</b>
Two perennial Northern Region powers – Westfield and Stone Bridge – went head-to-head in the season’s first week. In a defensive-dominant contest, Stone Bridge, the defending Div. 5 region champions and members of the Liberty District, came out on top, 7-3.
All of the game’s scoring occurred in the first quarter.
Westfield got a 23-yard field goal from junior kicker Matt Delaney to go ahead 3-0. Stone Bridge went ahead later in the quarter on a one-yard scoring run by Kyle Gouveia. The successful point-after kick gave the Bulldogs – the Bulldogs from Stone Bridge, that is – the lead for good at 7-3.
Both Bulldog teams received outstanding games from their respective top running backs. Stone Bridge’s Marcus Harris carried the football 24 times for 131 yards, while Westfield’s Kendell Anderson rushed for 137 yards on 24 tries.
This Friday night will see Westfield travel to Alexandria to take on the West Potomac Wolverines of the Patriot District. West Potomac overwhelmed cross-town rival Mount Vernon last week, 55-20.