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Centerpoint holds off Charleston for 3A playoff win

by Kevin Taylor | November 20, 2021 at 2:09 a.m.

CHARLESTON -- Centerpoint Coach Cary Rogers asked his team if they were interested in practicing Monday.

They roared with approval.

The Knights held on for dear life late Friday by beating Charleston 28-23 at Alumni Field in the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs.

Centerpoint (8-4) will face Harding Academy next week.

"We're excited," Rogers said. "Of course, there are just eight teams left. We're going to play Harding, and there's nothing but good teams left at this point."

The Knights blew ahead 7-6 in the first quarter thanks to a one-play drive -- with quarterback Joshua Lawson firing an 80-yard touchdown pass to Dillon Fox.

The one-play drive took just 13 seconds and came on the heels of a 13-play Charleston march that consumed 7 minutes, 32 seconds off the clock.

The Knights had two other first-half scoring drives that consumed 54 seconds and 2:09.

Lawson hooked up with Kaleb Owen for a 79-yard TD pass on the team's third play from scrimmage. Fox made it 21-9 at the half with a one-yard plunge.

In all, Centerpoint led by 12 despite having the football for just 6:06 of the first half.

Centerpoint might have had a bigger lead, too, had Charleston not halted two other potential scoring drives.

"We dug ourselves a big hole in the first half," Charleston Coach Ricky May said. "The second half, we played our butts off and had a chance to win it at the end."

"We had two drives that stalled out deep in their territory," Rogers said. "They [Charleston] do a good job. This is an awesome program they have going on here. They made adjustments at the half and we couldn't move the ball."

Centerpoint clung to a 21-9 lead after three quarters despite numerous missteps via penalties.

"We had a number of penalties that hurt us in the second half," Rogers said. "But the defense came up big at the very end."

Charleston quarterback Brandon Scott scored twice in the final quarter, including a second time with 1:42 left in the game.

Charleston forced a three-and-out and, starting from its 36, moved to the Knights' 8-yard line where Scott and the Tigers simply ran out of time.

After spiking the ball with three seconds left, he attempted a razzle-dazzle play with a backward pass on the game's final play.

Scott finished with 186 yards passing, including a 2-yard scoring pass to Bryton Ketter with 4:18 to play in the first quarter.

After throwing for 252 yards in the first half, Centerpoint's Lawson finished with 280 yards passing. He was just 2 of 7 with an interception in the final half.

Centerpoint ran for 63 yards on the ground in the second half after managing 0 yards rushing on 10 attempts in the first half.


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