Centennial felt confident going into Sunday’s games against Summit and Ravenwood, and for good reason.
The visiting Lady Cougars were riding a two-game winning streak, doubling their win total for the season two weeks earlier, with a chance to improve their seeding for the May 7 tournament at Nissan Stadium.
Their defense played a big role, collecting five interceptions to knock off Ravenwood 25-13, finishing the regular season with a 5-3 mark.
Ravenwood dropped to 6-2 with the loss and finished with the second seed after Franklin’s win over Fairview.
Centennial held Ravenwood scoreless in the second half after the teams played to a 13-13 tie in the first 20 minutes. Kaiya Cooper intercepted passes to end Ravenwood’s first two drives of the second half.
Addison Gorday found Kyleigh Burgett for the go-ahead score following Cooper’s second takeaway. Gorday and Burgett also connected for the game’s first score on the opening drive of the game.
“We knew we had to be aggressive,” Gorday said. “We had to put points on the board. My teammates did so well. I’m so proud of my teammates.”
The Lady Raptors, playing without one of their primary offensive weapons, Sarah Kate Rath, looked to quarterback Kennedy Riggs and running back Kaylen Thomas to get things moving. Facing fourth-and-1, a leaping Morgan Collier snagged Riggs’ pass in the front corner of the end zone, bringing the Raptors within a point in the first half.
With momentum swinging to the Lady Raptor side, Ravenwood got a defensive stop and with 4:57 left in the first half, Riggs hit Lena Detzer at the goal line to put Ravenwood in front. A leaping snag by Kendal Curran made the score 13-7.
Centennial responded immediately. A Kennedy Johnson run, followed by a Lillian Black catch-and-run put the Cougars in Ravenwood territory with less than a minute to play in the first half. Gorday, on a called quarterback draw, sprinted 27 yards to the left corner of the endzone to tie the game with 22 seconds left in the half. Burgett intercepted Riggs’ deep pass with seconds left leaving the score tied at halftime.
“(Assistant coach Jonathan) Parks is a great offensive coach,” Burgett said of Centennial’s offensive scheme. “We saw a hole on the left side, so we ran me on the flat and it was open.”
Ravenwood’s next drive would end up like the two previous. Setting at the Cougar 45-yard line, Riggs would throw a jump ball in the middle of the field. It would be Emma Slack that would rise from the scrum to grab the interception and return it deep into Raptor territory. Only a tackle from Thomas prevented Slack from scoring. The additional penalty yardage would set up the final score, a diving catch by Burgett with 1:46 remaining that would ice the game.
“I think we got a little frustrated with the pace of the game was going,” Ravenwood head coach Will Hester said. “I’m glad it happened today so we can fix it, if we can get it fixed, then we’ll have a chance to compete on Saturday, May 7.”
“These girls are ready,” Centennial coach Matt Kriesky said. “They want to practice tomorrow. They want to get better.”
Ravenwood 21, Summit 7
Ravenwood jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half and never relinquished it in a 21-7 win over Summit. Thomas opened the scoring with a 21-yard dash and Kennedy Riggs added two scores, including a touchdown pass to Abbie Cullen. The Spartans got on the board midway through the second half when Emma Bradford took a short pass from DeeDee May and outraced everyone 26 yards for the score.
Thomas said that winning the weekend was the focus for the Raptors.
“This week was a must-win for Ravenwood,” Thomas said. “We wanted to go up early in the first half and score as much as possible.”
Ravenwood coach Will Hester added, “We got a real fast girl and a couple of girls that can catch. That makes things a lot easier. It was prom last night. We’re just trying to survive the day.”
Centennial 20, Summit 6
A pass interference penalty gave the Cougars new life and sparked a 13-point burst to lead Centennial to a 20-6 win over Summit.
Addison Gorday’s scramble was the only scoring of the first half and gave Centennial a 7-0 lead. A third-and-goal pass was broken up by the Spartans, but a pass interference penalty gave the Cougars a first down at the 1-yard line, leading to Gorday’s touchdown pass to Sarah Potts.
“They called pass interference, which it clearly was not,” Summit coach Tae Young said. “The ball’s in the air, the defensive player has the right to play the ball. That is what my girl did. It was a crucial part of the game.”
Gorday added another touchdown run to her total before Summit found the end zone in a game that became physical in the late going. Pauline Truoel tallied the lone points for Summit.
“(Gorday) was able to attack the line of scrimmage,” Kriesky said, “(and) find girls that were sitting down before the linebackers came up.”
Young feels his team can perform well in the tournament despite the loss, adding, “It has just been a play here and a play there that has cost us.”
Final regular-season standings
- Franklin 8-0
- Ravenwood 6-2
- Fairview 6-2
- Page 5-3
- Centennial 5-3
- Summit 2-6
- Brentwood 2-6
- Nolensville 1-7
- Independence 1-7
Williamson County Girls Flag Football Tournament schedule
- All games May 7 at Nissan Stadium, Nashville
- 10 a.m. – No. 8 Nolensville vs. No. 9 Independence
- 11 a.m. – No. 4 Page vs. No. 5 Centennial
- 12 p.m. – No. 3 Fairview vs. No. 6 Summit
- 1 p.m. – No. 2 Ravenwood vs. No. 7 Brentwood
- 2 p.m. – No. 1 Franklin vs. Nolensville/Independence winner
- 3 p.m. – Semifinal: Franklin/Nolensville/Independence winner vs. Page/Centennial winner
- 4 p.m. – Semifinal: Ravenwood/Brentwood winner vs. Fairview/Summit winner
- 5 p.m. – Championship game