HS football: Century riding longest winning streak since ’15, drubs Twin Falls 42-13
POCATELLO – Pocatello, Preston and Burley: Welcome Twin Falls as the next entry into your group of teams gobsmacked by Century.
The Diamondbacks dismantled Twin Falls, jumping out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead before winning 42-13 Friday at Holt Arena.
“The last three, four weeks, they’ve been physical,” Century coach Travis Hobson said. “We’re hitting hard, and we’re team tackling. Offensive line, we’re getting separation and push. Running backs are not coming down on the first hit. Holy cow, I love our physicality right now.”
The No. 5 Diamondbacks (5-1, 3-0 4A District 4-5 East Pod) are riding their longest winning streak since 2015’s state semifinal run by clinching their last five matchups – the last four of which featured margins of victory over 25 points against Poky, Preston and Burley and Twin Falls.
When the Bruins (4-2, 2-0 4A District 4-5 West Pod) showed a scent of success in the third quarter with their first touchdown of the day, Century reactivated and scored on three consecutive drives, just like it did in the opening period.
Diamondbacks senior Deshun Harwell was responsible for unlighting Twin Falls’ brief spurt.
After Bruins quarterback Nich Swensen found Houston Jones for a 23-yard, fourth-down pass to cut Century’s lead to 21-6 with 4 minutes, 1 second left in the third quarter, Harwell came from the edge and blocked the extra point with his chest. On the next play, he returned a kickoff 51 yards to place the ball at Twin Falls’ 35 to set up a scoring drive.
“Can’t believe they actually kicked to my side,” said Harwell, who has returned two kickoffs for TDs this season. He said the key to returning is to simply be “the faster man and get around people and just try to hit the edge.”
After Harwell’s long run-back, Century quarterback Nate Manning completed two passes for 30 yards before receiver Cole McKinlay crossed the goal line on a 5-yard sweep to make it a three-score game, 28-6. For the next two touchdowns, Manning found Hudson Williams on a 19-yard pass and running back Mikey Branson ran unscathed through the middle on a 10-yard score to put Century ahead 42-6 at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Diamondbacks’ latest win was yet another piece of evidence that they’re one of the best squads in 4A. The only thing missing from their resume was a victory against a team with a winning record, which they obtained in their drubbing of Twin.
“The sky is the limit with these guys,” Hobson said. “They can go as far as they want.”
Both team were atop their respective 4A District 4-5 pod standings and had not lost against an Idaho 4A team entering the matchup, but it became lopsided quickly.
The first of four fumbles lost by Twin Falls set up Century’s first touchdown drive of the game that was capped by Jovan Sowell’s 21-yard catch-and-run. Manning ran it in from 9 yards on a read-option for the next score, before finding receiver Drew Gunter for an 80-yard TD pass on the fourth drive to put Century ahead 21-0 with 2:38 left in the first quarter.
Manning completed 16 of 21 passes for 257 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, while adding 27 yards rushing on seven carries. Gunter broke the century mark receiving, accounting for 107 yards on four catches.
Century plays Thursday at Holt Arena against Highland, which the Diamondbacks have never beaten in team history.