Centennial quarterback Connor Zulk rushed for a 68-yard touchdown on the fourth snap Friday against St. Michael-Albertville.
The Cougars defense did the rest, yielding less than 200 yards, including no rushing plays longer than 9 yards, in leading host Centennial to a 7-0 victory over the Knights, ranked No. 3 in Class 6A.
Zulk, a 6-3, 205-pound senior, finished with 161 yards on 19 carries. The Cougars (5-2), ranked 10th in Class 6A, rushed for 247 yards on 41 attempts. Their defense forced turnovers on downs both times St. Michael-Albertville (5-2) reached the red zone.
"[Our defensive coaches] just did such a good job preparing our kids," Centennial coach Mike Diggins said. "We weren't surprised by anything."
Centennial forced St. Michael-Albertville to punt on its first offensive possession and got a turnover on downs on the Cougars 16-yard line early in the second quarter, halting a 17-play drive by the Knights. The Cougars also stopped the Knights on downs at the 13-yard line early in the fourth quarter, ending an 81-yard drive.
Linebacker Garret Strating ended the Knights' final drive with an interception with less than two minutes left.
The Knights' only offensive play longer than 15 yards came when quarterback Kolby Gartner connected with Kale Hoselton for a 30-yard pass early in the fourth quarter.