Nasty weather sometimes is the great equalizer in football. Take two teams that do not match up on paper and put them on a sloppy field, and more often than not they will produce a close game.
Such was not the case in the 5A Division II semifinal between defending champ Peoria Centennial and Tucson Sunnyside Friday night at Glendale Community College.
Centennial (12-1) rolled over Sunnyside (10-3), shrugging off the constant rain for a 41-6 victory and a trip to the state championship against Avondale Westview.
Brothers Jeff and Anthony Hughes led Centennial. Jeff ran for 65 yards and two touchdowns and Anthony finished with 155 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries. Centennial coach Dick Taylor said he was impressed with the Hughes’ efforts.
“If someone was not familiar with our team, they’d probably look at the box score and say, 'dang, that Hughes kid is good,’” Taylor said. “But yeah, they just made some tremendous plays out there.”
Centennial led 21-0 at halftime and increased it to 34-0 in the third quarter.
Taylor said he attributes the win in part to his team’s ability to deal with the slop.
“I told them that I grew up in Ohio and that I coached and played in probably 100 games that looked just like this one tonight,” Taylor said. “I told them they need to embrace the muck, get right down in there and just own it.”