SANTA MARIA - After four weeks where it seemed Centennial could do no wrong, nothing went right for the Golden Hawks in this one.
After Centennial opened the season with a four-game win streak for the first time since 2010, the Golden Hawks lost to Santa Maria-St. Joseph 48-28 at Jay Will Stadium on Friday night in Santa Maria.
St. Joseph (4-1) scored 31 consecutive points in the first half en route to a 34-14 halftime lead. Centennial (4-1) trailed by no less than 20 points in the second half.
“Give St. Joseph credit, that’s a really, really good football team over there,” Centennial head coach Chad Brown said. “But we just had too many missed opportunities and too many things backfired on us.”
Trevor Cole caught three touchdown passes, returned a kickoff 77-yards and intercepted a pass for St. Joseph. Both the return and interception resulted in Knights touchdowns.
After the game, St. Joseph first-year head coach Pepe Villasenor told his players, “If we prepare the way we should, this is how we can play. We can be really difficult to beat.”
It was quite evident during the first half.
The Knights were kick started by a lengthy kickoff return by Darien Langley, who brought it down to the Centennial 45-yard line. Seven plays later, St. Joseph scored on a 22-yard field goal by Nathan Halsell, who also converted a 47-yard field goal later in the first half.
Centennial responded as Kyle Connelly connected with Grant Bloom on a 5-yard touchdown pass to take the lead at 7-3.
Then the Knights went wild in the first half.
Another long kickoff return, a 77-yard scamper by Trevor Cole to the Centennial 20, set up a short touchdown run by Devin Guggia three plays later.
As Centennial was unable to convert on a fourth-down attempt, the Knights again took advantage of the short field with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Chase Artopoeus to Cole.
Centennial cut the lead to 34-14 in the closing seconds of the first half, as David Stevenson took the kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.
It was more of the same for Centennial in the second half, however. After D.J. Adams took the kickoff into Knights’ territory, the Golden Hawks were unsuccessful on a fourth-down conversion.
St. Joseph then took a big chunk of time off the clock on its ensuing 15-play, 84-yard drive. Artopoeus scored his second 1-yard quarterback keeper to put the Knights up 41-14 with 4:24 left in the third.
Connelly finished the game with 238 passing yards, but 120 of those yards came late in the game while the Golden Hawks trailed by four scores.
Ty Glass led Centennial with 131 rushing yards and tallied his lone touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
St. Joseph quarterback Chase Artopoeus had 165 passing yards. Running back Devin Guggia had a game-high 160 rushing yards and one touchdown on 29 carries.
“They really ran the ball well,” Brown said. “They game planned and really took it to us on the ground.”
Centennial will have a bye next week before opening Southwest Yosemite League play on Sept. 28 against Liberty.
“When you play a really good team like this, you cannot make mistakes,” Brown said. “We have tough games the rest of the season and it all starts with Liberty in two weeks. We have to clean up the mistakes.”