High school football: Defense delivers big plays in Centennial’s 9-0 win over Rosemount

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The Centennial football team entered its regular-season finale Thursday night looking for a bit of revenge.

And its defense assured the Cougars got it.

Centennial twice held Rosemount without a score after fumbles by the Cougars on their first possession of both the first and second half, then forced a big turnover late in a 9-0 win in Circle Pines.

A first-half touchdown run by senior quarterback Daylen Cummings and a fourth-quarter field goal by Keaton Frase were all that was needed as Metro-North champ Centennial improved to 7-1.

The Irish (4-4) were the team that ended the Cougars’ season a year ago, defeating them 27-0 in the Class 6A state quarterfinals.

Neither team scored in the first quarter, though Rosemount had its chance after recovering a fumble on the Centennial 38.

But the Cougars defense turned the Irish over on downs on fourth-and-8 at the 23.

Centennial then marched 55 yards to score on a 3-yard run by Cummings with 4:08 to go in the first half.

The extra point was blocked, but the Cougars took a 6-0 lead into halftime.

Rosemount again got the ball in Centennial territory — this time at the 29 — when the Cougars once more fumbled on their first drive of the third quarter.

But three plays later, senior Owen Ringen picked off a pass at the 3 to end the threat.

Centennial then burned almost eight minutes off the clock with a long drive but came away empty after a missed 40-yard field goal attempt.

But after the Centennial defense forced a punt, Frase connected from 36 yards with 6:02 to play to put the Cougars in front 9-0.

The Irish — who were unable to connect on what would have been a couple of big passing plays in the second half — had two more big opportunities.

They reached the Centennial 28 on the drive following Frase’s field goal. But once more, the Cougars defense turned them over on downs.

A third Centennial fumble gave Rosemount the ball at its own 46 with 2:42 remaining on clock.

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