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

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 64 3rd Qtr 11:06
New York 44
Oklahoma City 1:30 PM
San Antonio
Cleveland 4:00 PM
Miami
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Chicago
Golden State 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
DePaul 12:30 PM
Loyola Marymount
Ohio 3:00 PM
Nebraska
Colorado 5:30 PM
Hawaii
George Washington 7:30 PM
Wichita State
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins' offseason moves so far?

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