UTICA – Just 4:17 into the first quarter the Centennial Broncos were on the verge of blowing the Twin River Titans off the field.
After a wild scoring first half, the two teams saw the others defenses step up as the Broncos held on for the 35-20 win.
The Broncos took the opening kick-off and on second down, junior running back David Payne who was subbing for the injured Andrew Bader skirted the left side for 60 yards and moved the ball inside the Twin River 10-yard line.
Following an 8-yard run by Erik Sayer, Payne took the hand-off and went in with 10:22 to play to give the Broncos a 7-0 lead following the PAT kick from Ramon Schellekens.
On the first play following the kick-off, the Broncos Brayden Obermier forced Titan quarterback Brent Parry to pitch sooner than he wanted to and with the ball on the ground Aaron DeWaard fell on the pigskin and the Broncos were in business again at the Titan's 27 yard line.
The offense sputtered some as the Titan defense held the Broncos to a minus two yards on the first two plays, but what has become a household hook-up combination, Kyle Gierhan to Logan Clonce, the two combined on a 29 yard scoring strike and the lead grew to 14-0.
Twin River however was not ready to concede anything.
A short run netted more minus yards for the Titans, but on second and 12, Parry threw a short out route to Jacob Wilcynski and the senior out ran everyone 74 yards to the end zone to make it 14-6. The PAT was wide right.
The Broncos would add to their lead just four plays into the second quarter when Gierhan found Andrew Heine on a 24-yard scoring pass, but the Titan's Wilcynski had an answer on the ensuing kick-off.
The senior took the ball at his own 13 yard line, broke to his left and hit another gear as he took the ball to the house for the Titans second score and the cut the Broncos lead to 21-12, as the PAT run failed.
Centennial was able to put another score on the board in the second quarter as DeWaard carried two to three Titan defenders the final five yards on a 20 yard pass hook up from Gierhan to give the Broncos a 28-12 half-time lead.
The Broncos had 244 yards of total offense at the half, compared to just 93 for the Titans. Of the Broncos 244, 115 came through the air.
In the win the Centennial offense finished with 345 yards, just a mark over 100 in the second half, and the Titans ended the game with 258 yards.
Leading the way on the ground for the Centennial team was Payne with 18 carries for 137 yards. In receiving Heine collected two catches for 47 yards and a score while Gierhan was 8-15 with three picks.
On defense, Gierhan picked off two Titan aerials, recovered a fumble and had five unassisted tackles. His fourth quarter interception went for a 46 yard return for a score. Also with strong defensive efforts were Payne with six unassisted, and a fumble recovery and Easton Eikenhorst had six unassisted and two assisted.
The Broncos (3-2) will return to action next Friday night as they travel to Yutan.
Twin River (1-4) ...................6 6 0 8- 20
Centennial (3-2)...................14 14 0 7- 35