In 23 seasons as the Centennial High head football coach, Lee Neumann has never seen anything quite like this.
The Patriots returned three kickoffs for touchdowns in the first half, and then held on for a 54-42 victory against Boise (2-4) on Thursday night at Dona Larsen Park.
After losing their first three games by a combined 10 points, the Patriots (3-3) have now won three straight games to take over sole possession of sixth place in the 5A Southern Idaho Conference.
I think special teams was huge for us, Neumann said. Ive never seen in all my coaching years three touchdowns on three consecutive kickoff returns. That was great.
Centennial junior Tanner Johnson started the kickoff return spree with a 95-yard run with 5 minutes, 7 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Junior Joe Murphy then added returns of 96 and 82 yards in the second quarter of the high-scoring affair.
We have a really good kickoff return setup. We have really great blockers in there, Murphy said. I just have to run the ball into the end zone. Thats my job. I get the ball and go. They set up all the blocks for me. They are the ones that do it all.
Centennial trailed 28-27 at halftime, but scored four touchdowns in the second half while limiting the Braves to two to seal the victory.
Weve just matured a lot more and really come into our own as a team, said Centennial senior receiver Treyvion Foster, who caught four passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
We know we could have and should have won at least three out of our first four games. We were there every time and just little things gave it up. Now were taking those little things and making them positive for us.