From the moment the ball sailed through the open arms of Charles Tutt and bounced to the grass, the Centreville junior wide receiver was focused on the next play. Season opener or not, dropping a potential touchdown pass wasn’t acceptable for Tutt.
“I was very disappointed because I misjudged the ball and adjusted too late, but that’s no excuse,” Tutt said. “I told [Centreville quarterback] Scott [Walter] to run the same exact play next time. I wanted one more shot.”
While Tutt made good on his second chance, snagging a 16-yard touchdown pass from Walter on fourth down, No. 5 Centreville did not need any other mulligans during Thursday’s contest at West Potomac.
The Wildcats scored on their first seven possessions and forced three turnovers in a 51-7 rout in Alexandria.
Tutt racked up 80 receiving yards and two touchdowns and the Wildcats amassed 270 yards on the ground. Meantime, the Wolverines’ offense sputtered, producing just 204 total yards to the swarming Centreville defense. West Potomac running back and Nebraska recruit Demornay Pierson-el had 75 yards on 13 carries.
“Once that wave of momentum hit early, you could see kids get confidence on defense in tackling [Pierson-el], and you need that because he’s so dangerous and every time he gets the ball, you have to hold your breath,” Centreville Coach Chris Haddock said. “But our guys executed well.”
The night began on a sour note for West Potomac, as a bad snap on the opening possession bounced into the end zone for a safety. Following the first of two touchdown runs on the night by Centreville’s Xavier Nickens-Yzer, the Wolverines lost quarterback Preston Jones for the night to a right arm injury after he was driven to the grass on a screen play.
The Wildcats used a heavy rush thereafter to pressure new quarterback Shahyeim Wellman. A Devante Wright fumble recovery at the end of the first quarter resulted in an 11-yard rushing score by Centreville’s Chase Heiner.
One series later, Walter found Tutt again on an over-the-shoulder catch in the back of the end zone for a 30-0 lead.
Centreville tacked on two more touchdowns in the final three minutes before halftime, one behind the speed and strength of A.J. Turner on a 36-yard catch-and-run and the other from Jordan Brooks, who picked up a fumble and rumbled 61 yards to the end zone.
West Potomac’s lone score came on an 87-yard touchdown pass from Pierson-el to R.Marquis Saldona.