Eagle runs away from Centennial

Mustangs surge late behind dual-threat quarterbacks.

SPECIAL TO THE STATESMANSeptember 14, 2013 

EAGLE — For three quarters Friday night, Centennial and Eagle were locked in a penalty-marred 5A Southern Idaho Conference battle.

But as ominous black clouds closed in on Thunder Stadium, the host Mustangs dominated the final act, storming to a 37-10 victory to improve to 2-0 on the young season.

Quarterbacks JT Williams and Hunter Floyd combined for 370 total yards and five touchdowns for Eagle, which outscored Centennial 20-0 in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we did a good job of outlasting our opponent,” Eagle coach Paul Peterson said. “Centennial played tough, but I felt like our depth and conditioning wore them down late in the game.”

The first half was a grind for both teams. Centennial’s Sean Coffey and Eagle’s Qarli Stone traded first-quarter field goals, but neither team scored a TD until Floyd capped an efficient drive with a 17-yard scamper to give Eagle a 10-3 halftime lead.

Centennial (0-2) controlled the ball for much of the third quarter, eventually tying the game on an 86-yard TD run by senior tailback Joe Murphy. But Kit Muli had a big return on the ensuing kickoff, and Williams ripped off a 32-yard TD run moments later to restore the Eagle lead.

The Patriots were inches from tying the game early in the fourth, but could not punch it in. After their goal-line stand, the Mustangs marched 98 yards — punctuated by Williams’ 41-yard TD pass to Kam Lane — and the rout was on.

Williams and Floyd tacked on fourth-quarter rushing TDs for Eagle. Floyd finished with 125 yards on just six carries, while Williams rushed for 102 yards and passed for 122.

“We want our quarterbacks to run the ball,” Peterson said. “We’ve got two athletic guys back there, and they made some big plays for us tonight.”

Murphy had a huge night, rushing for 225 yards on 22 carries before leaving with an injury. But the Patriots only managed three points on four trips inside the red zone, throwing two interceptions near the goal line and failing to punch it in after facing first-and-goal from the 1.

“We have a young, inexperienced team and we made some mistakes,” Centennial coach Lee Neumann said. “We moved the ball all night, but we couldn’t score from in close, and it cost us.

Centennial also committed 12 penalties for 120 yards. Eagle was flagged 14 times for 126 yards.

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