Most Viewed Stories
IMG Academy tops Centennial with wild finish in Honor Bowl
MISSION VIEJO IMG Academy might've appeared to be waving a white flag when its defense let Corona Centennial's Miles Reed walked into the end zone untouched for the go-ahead score with 66 seconds left in the game.
In reality, that was the Ascenders' best chance to pull out a victory.
IMG scored with 12 seconds remaining, and the all-star squad out of Bradenton, Fla., got the deciding two-point conversion to slip past Centennial, 50-49, Saturday in the final game of The Honor Bowl.
Centennial's defense made a key stop in the fourth quarter, forcing IMG (2-0) to punt with 3 1/2 minutes remaining. The Huskies took possession at the Ascenders 40 and with the scored tied at 42.
Reed's powerful runs helped Centennial (1-1) move into the red zone. And his 6-yard touchdown run helped Centennial regain the lead.
Centennial coach Matt Logan took a timeout and debated whether to kick the extra point or go for two. Logan decided on the first choice.
"With IMG having no timeouts left and a long way to go, I felt the best thing to do was kick,” Logan said. "That was to our advantage.”
IMG was aided by a personal foul penalty on the deciding drive, but the Ascenders faced third-and-16 with 22 seconds left on the clock. Kellen Mond found Brian Hightower in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Hightower wrestled the ball from Jacob Myerly.
On the two-point conversion, Mond faked a handoff and started to roll to his right. He stopped and flipped a shovel pass to Asa Martin, who walked into the end zone for the deciding point of the game.
In last week's season opener, Centennial needs only two plays to get on the board. Yards were much harder to come by Saturday evening against IMG's star-studded defense, but the offense pieced together an un-Centennial-like 21-play scoring drive, which was capped by a 3-yard pass on fourth down from Tanner McKee to Xavier Marshall.
IMG struggled to move the ball early, and the Ascenders' two drives in opening quarter ended with a punt.
Centennial doubled its lead early in the second quarter. The Huskies drove 75 yards on 11 plays, and Reed capped that drive with a 20-yard touchdown run. Reed had been grinding out tough yards for small gains, but he had runs of 11 and 20 yards during that drive.
IMG was able to answer back. Mond threw a swing pass to Martin, who broke several tackles on his way to a 75-yard gain. Two plays later, Mond scored on a 5-yard scramble.
The Ascenders evened the score late in the opening half when Mond fired a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jhamon Ausbon. Two plays earlier, Centennial's Jaylan Shaw jarred the ball loose from an IMG receiver on third down, but the back judge threw a flag for a personal foul.
Centennial had the opportunity to regain the lead before halftime. The Huskies moved past midfield with ease, but Tanner McKee's pass down the right sideline was intercepted by Marcus Williamson.
The second half was the shootout most expected, as the two teams traded touchdowns. Both teams had more than 500 yards of offense.
Centennial's Xavier Marshall finished with 14 catches for 230 yards.