Los Angeles Preps: Cameron Gamble
November, 22, 2011
By Dan Arritt | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Courtesy of Joe WheatCentennial quarterback Hayden Gavett will be one of many players Chaparral will need to slow to have a chance.
Redlands may have provided a blueprint on how to score against Corona Centennial but other than Mother Nature, nobody has designed a way to stop its offense in recent years.
The latest coach to inherit that challenge is Ryan Tukua of Chaparral, whose Pumas are preparing to play the top-seeded Huskies in an Inland Division second-round game Friday night at Centennial.
While watching tape of the Huskies’ 49-35 victory last week against Redlands, he nearly blistered his thumb hitting the pause button.
“Centennial did not get stopped one time on offense,” Tukua said. “It seemed like they’d score within two minutes of getting the ball.”
Of course, the Pumas (7-4) have a few things going for them; a solid defense, a defensive coordinator, Stan Hunt, who recently coached at Centennial (10-1) and a history of knocking the Huskies off their perch.
The teams first met five years ago, in the same round and the same spot of the Inland Division bracket. Centennial, undefeated and the top-seeded team at the time, had no answer for Chaparral running back Talmadge Jackson, who rushed for 313 yards and four touchdowns in the 42-28 upset.
Centennial eliminated the Pumas from the playoffs the next two seasons but Chaparral earned some payback in 2009. After upsetting top-seeded Redlands East Valley in the second round (the same spot of the bracket as this season), the Pumas beat Centennial in an overtime thriller, 43-35. They completed their magnificent playoff run with a 13-7 victory against Southwestern League rival Vista Murrieta in the championship game.
That was the last time the Pumas had anything to celebrate against Centennial, however. The teams have met in nonleague play the last two seasons, with Centennial winning by a combined score of 94-26.