Centerville solves Alter 24-7; Elks hold Knights to minus-2 yards rushing

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Centerville’s Michael Bennett

In a highly anticipated meeting 43 years in the making, host
Centerville dominated visiting Alter 24-7 before an overflow crowd of
12,000-plus at Centerville Stadium. Hollywood could not have staged a
better environment for two neighborhood rivals who hadn’t met since
1967.


Unbearable.

That’s how Centerville senior two-way lineman Michael Bennett
described the week leading up to the Elks historic meeting Friday night
with Kettering Alter.

Unbearable.

That’s how some Knights fans might have described the actual game.

In a highly anticipated meeting 43 years in the making, host
Centerville dominated visiting Alter 24-7 before an overflow crowd of
12,000-plus at Centerville Stadium. Hollywood could not have staged a
better environment for two neighborhood rivals who hadn’t met since
1967.

Centerville, ranked No. 4 in the JJHuddle Division I Power Poll
improves to 3-0, while Alter, ranked No. 1 in D-IV, falls to 2-1.

“I can’t imagine another high school game anywhere that had an
atmosphere better than that tonight,” Centerville head coach Ron Ullery
said. “Wow. That was about as good as it gets. What an unbelievable
atmosphere and a great game.”

Said Alter head coach Ed Domsitz: “I’ve never showed up at a stadium
and there is already 8,000 people there. This was amazing. It was
everything you hoped it would be.”

A standing room only crowd packed 10 deep inside the stadium and the
overflow crowd outside perched atop an end zone hill, saw Centerville
snap the Knights 32-game (on field) win streak and hand the two-time defending D-IV
state champions just their third loss on the field in the last 60
games.

Alter, which entered the game averaging 396.5 yards rushing in its
first two games, was held to negtive-2 yards on the ground. The Knights
ran the ball 22 times and didn’t have a run longer than seven yards.

Entering the game pundits had questioned the Knights ability to
penetrate a Centerville defense many think might be the best ever at the
school – and certainly one of its largest. The answer was Alter
couldn’t.

Led by its massive defensive line, which includes Bennett, an Ohio
State recruit, and West Virginia commit Kyle Rose, the Elks manhandled
the Knights up front.

“We’ve said the D-Line is going to be our strong point this year and
we need to prove it to everybody every time out. We proved it
tonight,” Bennett said. “Alter’s supposed to be this rushing phenomenon
and we shut them down.”

Said Ullery: “My guys really impressed me today.”

Unable to run, Alter QBs attempted 20 passes, completing nine for 186
yards. The Knights lone score was an 83-yard fourth quarter punt return
by Kevin Wise.

“We couldn’t get the offense going,” Domsitz said. “We never got the
running game on track. We’re like most running teams. If you stop that
we could be in a difficult situation and we were.”

Centerville, fueled by pregame speeches from Kirk Herbstreit and Mike
Nugent, had no trouble executing its attack. The Elks churned out 332
total yards with 246 coming via the run. Chris Barr led the way with 124
yards on 26 carries and delivered the knock-out blow with a fourth
quarter TD. QB Jon Overstreet added a TD and 63 yards on 19 carries.

“Every day I wanted to play them so bad,” Bennett said. “Today
thinking about it I was just shaking from the anticipation. This is a
huge rivalry. I can only guess that Ohio State and Michigan will be just
as big.”

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