Quarterback Jameel Siler (2) gets his orders from Centreville Coach Chris Haddock during the Wildcats win at Chantilly. (Dillon Mullan/For The Washington Post)

Centreville Coach Chris Haddock heard the suggestion from his assistant to pass the ball. Then he turned to that assistant and reaffirmed his game plan.

“I’m just going to grind it,” Haddock said midway through the second quarter. “Garrett’ll break them down.”

Junior Julian Garrett took his coach’s vote of confidence and ran all over Chantilly’s defense with it. By the end of the night, constant collisions had chipped away at the Wildcats logo on his helmet as he rushed for three touchdowns in a 37-20 win over their Fairfax rivals in Chantilly.

“I wanted to set the tone early and let them know that I’m going to be there all night. I finish my runs,” Garrett said. “I was comfortable behind my O-line. I was able to see the holes and make it happen.”

After back-to-back trips to the Virginia 6A title game, Centreville (4-5, 2-2 Conference 5) was a shadow of its former self during the first eight games of the season. But as the playoff weather crept into Fairfax on a chilly Friday night, so, too, did the Wildcats Northern Virginia is used to seeing.

“As the season has gone on, we’ve gotten better and better,” Garrett said. “We’re putting everything together, and we’re going to be a really good team in the playoffs.”

Chantilly (5-4, 2-2) started out senior night brightly as quarterback David Tammaro hit Trevon Montgomery for a 68-yard touchdown on the game’s first possession. The Wildcats defense quickly adjusted while Garrett scored rushing touchdowns of two and 13 yards as the Wildcats built a 16-7 halftime lead.

“It was a tough start, but we rebounded and came back stronger,” senior linebacker Tyler Gambone said. “We don’t focus on the past. We look at the future to see what we can do better.”

On the first drive of the second half, junior quarterback Jameel Siler rolled right and threw back across the field to a wide-open Rafael Walker, who juked two defenders on his way to a 51-yard touchdown catch. Trailing 30-20 after Tammaro’s third touchdown toss late in the fourth quarter, Chantilly had a chance to pull within one score, but the Chargers could not convert a two-point conversion. And on the first play after Centreville recovered the ensuing onside kick, Kyle Richbourg rushed right up the middle for a 50-yard touchdown that sealed the win and a playoff berth.

“You guaranteed yourselves Week 11 tonight,” Haddock told his team afterward. “But our goal is not just Week 11.”