Chantilly at Centreville football: After slow start, Wildcats blow past Chargers
By Eric Detweiler,
Centreville sophomore Charles Tutt jumped high to pull down the second-quarter interception with a Chantilly player on his back and popped to his feet quickly. The defensive back gestured to the homecoming crowd at his Clifton high school and took time to accept congratulations from his defensive teammates as he gave the ball to an official.
But within seconds, Tutt was back in the Wildcats huddle, ready to be a wide receiver. Three plays later, he was celebrating again after a 30-yard touchdown catch.
In danger of being blown out by 20th-ranked Chantilly on Friday night, Centreville quickly flipped the script thanks to a flurry of explosive plays on both sides of the ball. The Wildcats scored on seven of their final eight possessions to beat the Chargers, 45-31, in the Virginia AAA Concorde contest.
“It was perfect,” Tutt said of his team’s performance in the final three quarters. “We dreamed about it, we talked about it. Every day at practice we work hard for it, so it was nice to have it come true.”
Centreville (6-2, 2-1 Concorde) needed those heroics after a nightmare start. Chantilly senior quarterback Sonny Romine found junior Raeshawn Smith behind the defense on the second play from scrimmage for a 68-yard touchdown. The Chargers (5-3, 1-2) scored on their first three possessions and led 17-0 less than 10 minutes into the game. They outgained the home team, 159 yards to 21, in the opening period.
Centreville — the Virginia AAA Division 6 runner-up last fall — surged back behind its defense. After sophomore AJ Turner got the Wildcats on the board with a six-yard touchdown run, Tutt made his interception and touchdown catch in quick succession.
“That’s the way it should work,” said Turner, who rushed for a team-high 60 yards and two scores and added an interception. “Once we do something great, then another person does something great, and it kinda fires off.”
Later in the second quarter, sophomore Tyler Love picked off another pass, and junior Scott Walter threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Xavier Nickens-Yzer to cap 21 unanswered Centreville points in fewer than seven minutes of game action.
After halftime, the Wildcats pulled away, scoring three touchdowns and an 18-yard field goal on their four drives.
“Our kids are resilient, and maybe part of it is their youth,” said Centreville Coach Chris Haddock, whose team relies on several sophomores playing both ways. “They really believe they can come back any time, any place, anywhere.”