Less than two quarters into its new season, Centennial's football team found the magic it lacked last season.

Quarterback Evan Ostergren scrambled right and launched a ball toward the Osseo end zone. Tyler Meany jumped to grab the ball near the goal line but wound up tipping it into the arms of teammate Joshua DeWitt despite the presence of three Orioles in coverage.

Centennial went on to upset then-No. 7 Osseo and has kept rolling to an unlikely 3-0 start. A season ago, the Cougars finished 3-6 and lost four times by seven points or less.

"We had a really good team," second-year head coach Mike Diggins said. "We led the [Northwest Suburban] conference in rushing. We just got too many bad breaks."

The Cougars' turnaround isn't all about good fortune. Diggins scrapped the wing-T offense and modified the offense to fit players' strengths.

"The kids are believing in the things that offensive coordinator Jason Tlusty has been saying," Diggins said. "We've got a blue-collar team that is learning how to compete."

Bloodied but unbowed

Legacy Christian Academy volleyball standout Haley Bertsch threw herself completely into last week's battle with New Life Academy of Woodbury.

In the process of saving a ball, Bertsch did a face plant in front of the bench.

"The trainer attends to her bleeding nose and bruised chin but determines she's able to play," coach Therese Bertsch wrote in an e-mail.

Despite Bertsch's return, the Saints fell 15-11 in in the fifth game and lost the match 3-2.

Comeback kids

Totino-Grace boys' soccer coach Bill Vance said his Eagles have yet to put together a full game but he enjoyed their second half efforts last week against Fridley.

The rivals on either side of Moore Lake squared off last week and Fridley took a 2-0 lead on first half goals scored just 41 seconds apart. The score held into halftime.

"Our talk [at halftime] was about trying to put more pressure on their back line and stop worrying about the score," Vance wrote in an e-mail.

It worked; the Eagles rallied for a 3-2 victory.