Two undefeated top 10 teams battling out on TV, what could be better? It took until the 1:29 mark in the first quarter for the first points to be scored but once the points were put on the board, a very good game was played between Apollo and Centennial.
Centennial struck first when star junior RB Jalen Ortiz galloped in from 50 yards out but Apollo did not back down. Led by QB Jon Brown, the Hawks marched and evened the score. Brown hit receiver Dylan Katzenberger on a big gain before running in to tie the game.
After a Centennial punt, Apollo took their first and only lead of the game. Brown had a big gain to get the Hawks to the 5 yard line and jumped over the pile to score his second TD of the game. 14-7 Apollo.
But the Coyotes would score twice in the last 6 minutes of the 1st half to gain the lead back.
A pass interference call on 3rd and 21 kept Centennial's drive alive and Ortiz would scamper 41 yards to get CeHS to the 1 yard line. Zach Hoffpauir scored from a yard out to tie the game back up.
Tryan Nahrgang blocked Apollo's punt and Ortiz scored from a few yards out to take a 20-14 lead into halftime.
The Coyotes came out in the second half and took 5 minutes off the clock on an impressive scoring drive. Hoffpauir added another score to build their lead to 26-14.
Apollo's Joe Cortez answered on a 99 yard kickoff return to keep the Hawks in the game. 26-21.
Centennial got scores from Hoffpauir late in the 3rd and early in the 4th quarters to push the lead to 40-21.
Apollo scored late in the game to save some face on a Brown to Abraham Mendivil pass.
This was a better game then most people expected. Apollo was very tough and although Centennial was the better team, a few calls Apollo's way would have made this closer. The ground game was the difference, anytime a back averages 10 yards per carry, it will be a long night, that is exactly what junior Jalen Ortiz did. Apollo's Jon Brown is the most underrated prospect in the state.
I will give two out. Centennial RBs Jalen Ortiz and Zach Hoffpauir were dynamite tonight.
Game Recap: Apollo v. Centennial
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