Six Yorktown turnovers propel Centreville to 27-0 victory in AAA Northern Region play

By James Wagner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 17, 2010; 12:16 AM

Centreville knew coming into its game Thursday at Yorktown that it was the bigger team, and the Wildcats believed themselves to be stronger. On a rainy night in Arlington, however, Centreville coaches were concerned about turnovers.

The concerns were valid, but it was the Wildcats who were the chief beneficiaries of six Patriots turnovers in a 27-0 victory.

Yorktown forced a punt on Centreville's first possession but the Patriots fumbled the return, and the Wildcats took advantage three plays later with a score.

"They didn't have good ball security and we were getting good pressure when they threw the picks and our cornerbacks broke on the ball and make some plays," Centreville tight end and defensive end Ken Ekanem said. "It was slippery."

The rain played a big role in Yorktown's inability to hang on to the ball. Of its six fumbles, the Patriots lost four. The Wildcats also came up with two interceptions.

Though only one directly lead to a Centreville score, the turnovers ended promising Yorktown drives.

"We had too many turnovers and when we had good opportunities, we couldn't score," Yorktown Coach Bruce Hanson said. "We gotta play better football to beat good teams."

After the opening fumble, the Wildcats had a short field and scored on an 18-yard run by junior running back Connor Coward.

It wasn't the just the turnovers that spoiled Yorktown's night, but the relentless Centreville rushing attack.

When Yorktown loaded the line of scrimmage, Coward bounced the play outside for longer gains.

"Coach just calls the plays and that one always worked," said Coward, who also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Junior running back Manny Smith paced the Wildcats with 121 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Coward added 87.

With the victory, the Wildcats have equaled their win total from last season.

"That's a good football team," Centreville Coach Chris Haddock said. "I'm real happy to get out of here with a win."

Ekanem, who caught a second-quarter pass for a touchdown, led a stout defense that pounced on every loose ball the Patriots coughed up.

Centreville had three fumbles, losing one.

"We need to work ball security and clean it up and we'll be ready for the Concorde District," Ekanem said.

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