GLEN ROSE, Ark. – Centerpoint can be optimistic because tradition, records, statistics, and a prior win over the Knights (7-6) this season doesn’t determine who will win Friday night’s Class 3A playoff game at Beaver Stadium.
On paper it appears Glen Rose (10-2) would be the choice of oddsmakers. Centerpoint (8-3) coaches, players and fans don’t agree. A win Friday would send the Knights into the fourth round of the postseason for the first time in school history.
“We had opportunities to win the first game with Glen Rose this year,” said Centerpoint coach Cary Rogers. “Hopefully, we’ll get a better outcome this time. It’ll be a tough game, it always is. Glen Rose is a very disciplined football team, and doesn’t beat itself.”
Beavers tradition impresses oddsmakers
The Beavers’ football tradition is rich. They won a state championship in 2007. Glen Rose has won 27 of 43 playoff games the past 16 years. It has also defeated Centerpoint 12 times during that period. The Knights’ last win over Glen Rose came in 2014, 30-12.
Glen Rose’s defense is the key to the Beavers’ success in 2020. They shut down Centerpoint’s passing game in the first meeting by dropping eight defenders in passing situations.
Camden Harmony Grove got a taste of the Knights’ passing game last week. Junior quarterback Josh Lawson completed 18 of 18 passes for 206 yards and 3 touchdowns. Lawson has completed 96 of 174 passes this season for 1,790 yards and 25 TDs.
Lawson’s favorite targets have been C.J.Fox, Kaden Owens and Dillon Fox. C.J. had 43 receptions for 808 yards. Owens is averaging 25.4 yards on 24 catches, while Dillon Fox had contributed 15 receptions for 139 yards.
Knights’ Way better in backfield
Senior Houston Way and Lawson have accounted for nearly all of the Knights’ yards on the ground. Way ran for a season-high 119 last week, and has 850 yards on 158 carries in 2020. Lawson has gained 258 yards on 67 carries.
Centerpoint’s defense bends, but seldom breaks. Louis Lozano is the team’s leading tackler with 66 stops. Sophomore Jace Clark has 62 tackles, including five sacks. Dathan Vaught has contributed 57 tackles and six sacks. As a team the Knights have a combined 17 interceptions, seven by Kaden Owens.
One of the biggest questions for Centerpoint Friday is the availability of junior tackle Garrett Alexander, who was injured two weeks ago. Rogers said earlier in the week that Alexander was questionable.
The Knights have worked hard in practice on special teams. Two missed extra points, and a kickoff return by Harmony Grove didn’t impress some oddsmakers last week.
Friday’s winner advances to the 3A semifinals to play top-ranked Harding Academy or Booneville.