Stingy defense spearheads surprising Centennial football

  • Article by: DAVID LA VAQUE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 1, 2013 - 5:23 PM

 

Centennial football coach Mike Diggins said he heard preseason projections that his Cougars would not win a game.

Yet the Cougars are 4-1, thanks in large part to a stingy defense. The unit has pitched 11 consecutive quarters of shutout football, including blankings of Armstrong and Anoka.

“Our defense is playing really well,” Diggins said. “We switched our defensive scheme this year but we have an older group of kids who responded really well.”

The Cougars are getting the most out of some new faces plugged into an alignment of four linemen, two linebackers and five defensive backs to better counter spread offenses.

Linebacker Max Cory, a converted quarterback, and fellow linebacker Michael Major are playing at an “all-conference, all-state kind of level,” Diggins said.

Defensive tackle Kodie Sickmann, a former tight end playing in his first season on the defensive line, is one of “the bit players who bought into playing his role,” Diggins said.

Cornerback Michael Pierson ranks among team leaders in tackles and provides the Cougars solid talent at all three levels.

The unit allowed a first-quarter touchdown to Elk River, then held the Elks, Armstrong and Anoka without a point. Champlin Park broke the streak when it scored a first-quarter touchdown last week in a 35-12 Centennial victory.

“We don’t offer these guys any sort of incentive for shutouts,” Diggins said. “It’s kind of their job and they take pride in shutting teams down.”

Diggins is quick to point out, however, that the four teams Centennial defeated have managed a combined record of 3-17. A “huge test” awaits against No. 2 Maple Grove (5-0), Diggins said.

“They are so fast, so good and so well coached,” Diggins said. “It’s going to be a challenge but our kids are believing in themselves right now.”

 

Rugby at TCF Bank Stadium

The fifth annual RugbyDayMinnesota takes place Oct. 12 at TCF Bank Stadium.

It features five high-profile rugby matches, including the Gophers men’s team playing Iowa and the Gophers women’s team playing Iowa State.

In addition, a Minnesota high school girls’ select side match will be played. Tickets cost $5.

 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Houston 105
Golden State 106 FINAL
Boston 101
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
Indiana 94
Portland 110 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Orlando 83
Oklahoma City 108 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Denver 92
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Tampa Bay 3 FINAL
Florida 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Toronto 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Anaheim 3 FINAL
Dallas 1
St. Louis 5 FINAL(SO)
Vancouver 6
SMU 73 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 66 FINAL
Providence 77
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
Siena 57 FINAL
Monmouth 63
Pittsburgh 66 FINAL
Wake Forest 69
Oregon 73 FINAL
Stanford 70
Purdue 61 FINAL
Ohio State 65
Arizona State 81 FINAL
Colorado 87
Washington St 67 FINAL
UCLA 72
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
UMBC 73
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 74 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 70
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 80 FINAL
(16) Duke 81
Alabama 73 FINAL
Auburn 80
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 46 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 59
(19) Stanford 55 FINAL
Oregon 62
Marquette 82 FINAL
DePaul 99
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 49 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
(2) South Carolina 56 FINAL
(13) Kentucky 67
Utah 41 FINAL
Arizona 64
Ohio State 78 FINAL
Nebraska 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close