By Fletcher Proctor
The Centennial Knights (3-6) enter tonight’s tilt with Chattahoochee (6-3) with a chance to make the postseason in head coach Jeff Carlberg’s first year with the program. After dropping five games to open the year, the Knights have responded with three wins in their last four games, setting up tonight’s chance to clinch a postseason spot on Senior Night.
One of those seniors is quarterback Chase Rosenberg, who has really thrived in the Knights’ new spread offense. This season, Rosenberg has passed for 1,928 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has established an incredible rapport with junior receiver Christian Robinson. The two connected for seven scores over a three game stretch, and Robinson has hauled in 61 passes for 905 yards and 11 total touchdowns on the season. Rosenberg has also found Matthew Harries (355 yards, three touchdowns) quite often this season, but the emerging receiver is freshman Caden Herring. Herring is fast approaching 30 catches on the year and has a touchdown reception in each of the last two games.
ShaQuan Hobes came off the bench to provide a spark at running back several weeks ago in a win over Lambert as the offensive line, while decimated with injuries, has still produced “enough in spots,” according to Carlberg.
Defensively, Lorenzo McWilliams, Lloyd Glenn, Chris Calhoun, Reggie Ben-Asemota and Caleb Howard have excelled for Carlberg on the defensive line. They are starting to play as “the hammer, not the nail,” as their coach stresses each day in practice. Kola Balogun has big-play potential in the secondary. He picked off a pass and returned it 65 yards for a score to clinch the Knights’ victory over South Forsyth.
Chattahoochee’s Travis Marshall is no slouch at quarterback himself. Last week, Marshall threw for 277 yards and one score while rushing for another. Earlier this year against South Forsyth, Marshall showed off his cannon of an arm for 403 yards, 259 yards and three scores going to Collin Lisa. Avery Ward is also a popular target for Marshall, especially in the red zone.
Terry Crowder’s offense also features a rushing tandem of C.J. Leggett and Chase Nelson, a pair of juniors that can find the end zone. Each posted two scores against Lambert last week.
On the other side of the ball, the Cougars have really grown up as the season has progressed. Crowder was counting on Justin Jackson to provide leadership to the unit that brought back just three starters from last year’s squad, but O.J. Thompson, John Sanders and Majeed Bilal stepped up on the defensive line. Josh Weisberg also made a name for himself earlier this season at linebacker as Crowder called the sophomore one of the team’s surprises. Jackson has still had his moments as he took a fumble 92 yards for a touchdown last week against Lambert.