Score one for the throwback power running game in Friday night’s style clash between visiting Basha and Peoria Centennial.
Score 24 for Coyotes' junior tailback Dedrick Young, who rushed for four touchdowns and 233 yards on 19 carries behind the Coyote’s large offensive line. Centennial (1-1) jumped out to a 18-0 halftime lead and held on after the Bears revived in the second half to salt away a 32-17 win.
“We just played horrible and got our butts whipped. They wanted to play and we didn’t, apparently,” said Basha coach Bernie Busken. “That’s my fault.”
Young and senior Matt Rodriguez grounded the potent Basha (1-1) offense in the first half, holding the Bears to one first down and only 17 offensive plays by halftime. Senior quarterback Zach Werlinger cranked up the Bears’ no-huddle short passing game in the second half, throwing 29 passes after halftime and completing 16 of them for 132 yards and two scores.
But Basha could not draw closer than eight points. A 34-yard field goal by junior Cade Thompson cut the lead to 18-10 with 2:59 remaining in the third quarter. Centennial thwarted the Bears’ fourth-down attempt from the Coyote 37.
On the ensuing drive, Young busted outside for an 18-yard gallop on third and one. He followed that by taking a draw and running untouched straight up the gut on the decisive 36-yard touchdown.
“My fullback hit the linebacker. My center went up. It was wide open and we just hit it,” Young said.
Werlinger answered three minutes later with an 11-yard touchdown toss on a slant to junior receiver Jared Schmidt. Centennial recovered the onside kick and Young slammed the door, ripping off runs of 20 and 27 yards to set up a four-yard scoring run in the final minute.
A week after the Coyotes faced soul searching in the wake of its 41-21 loss to Chandler, the Bears will do the same. Basha finished the postgame handshake, huddled up for a minute, then marched directly on the bus in full pads.
“We didn’t play and they had a lot to do with that. They did a great job,” Busken said. “We did not. We’ll fix it in the morning.”
For more on the Basha-Centennial game click here.