JOHNSBURG – After holding visiting Reed-Custer to just 13 yards during the first half Friday night, Johnsburg figured the second half would be more of the same.
Instead, a football game turned into a track meet, as the Skyhawks (2-0) held on late for dear life, and a thrilling 40-37 nonconference win.
The two teams combined for eight second-half touchdowns, and Skyhawks junior running back Brett Centnarowicz carried the ball 21 times for 184 yards and a pair of rushing TDs.
“My line was just opening up big holes for me,” Centnarowicz said. “All their work in the weight room and in practice paid off tonight.”
His coach, Sam Lesniak, agreed.
“This is what high school football is all about,” Lesniak said. “Every kid dreams of playing in a game like this.
“Brett is one of the most mild-mannered, humble kids you’d ever want to meet. That’s in stark contrast to the way he plays on the field. I’m happy for him then rest of our guys. Huge win.”
Reed-Custer got a monster game on the ground from Rex Pfeifer. He ran the ball 22 times for 226 yards, and tallied a 76-yard, third-quarter TD run.
It gave the Comets (1-1) their first lead of the night, at 21-20.
This, a week after Pfeifer had five TDs.
“Our coaching staff is amazing,” Comets coach Gavin Johnston said. “With all the technology at our disposal these days, our offensive coordinator, Nick Klein, and our offensive line coach, Mark Wolf, saw some things and made some great adjustments at halftime.”
The key play of the shootout second half, ironically, was by the Skyhawks’ defense.
Leading, 33-29, with under 2 minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Maddux Malachuk picked off a pass in Comets’ territory.
Two plays later, Centnarowicz scored on a 32-yard run, making it 40-29, Skyhawks.
But the Comets weren’t finished. Jacob Reardon hit Travis Bohac for a 14-yard TD pass, and suddenly it was 40-37 Skyhawks with 18 seconds remaining.
The ensuing onside kick failed.
Considering the Comets won 11 games last season and made the state quarterfinals in their class, Johnsurg will enter Week 3 brimming with optimism.
Skyhawks QB A.J. Bravieri completed 12 of his 16 passes for 155 yards and three TDs.
“Momentum is a funny thing,” Lesniak said. “We’ve got a bunch of it now and I’m excited to see where it takes us.”