UTICA — Wyatt Ehlers led the charge, but the Centennial senior standout quarterback was far from a one-man show.
Ehlers accounted for four touchdowns, three rushing and one passing, as the Class C-2 No. 2 Broncos cruised past third-ranked Sutton 41-22 Friday night.
Centennial also got major contributions from senior receivers Jackson Hirschfeld and Max Tomes.
The duo pitched in with a combined nine catches for 92 yards. Tomes found the end zone twice, once on a 21-yard catch from Ehlers and the latter on a nifty 85-yard interception return for a TD early in the second quarter.
“Those guys (Hirschfeld and Tomes) don’t get the recognition they deserve,” Ehlers said. “They make so many plays. They make it look easy. “They help me out a lot out there.”
Ehlers was also quick to credit his offensive line for paving the way for 233 rushing yards and four team rushing touchdowns. The effort came against a Sutton defense that’s allowed only one touchdown through the first three weeks of the season.
“Everyone didn’t think we could run the ball that great,” Ehlers said. “And the line goes out and has a monster game tonight.”
The Broncos (3-0) wasted little time gaining the upper hand. Ehlers took it in from 4-yards out to cap a nine-play, 64-yard drive to open the game.
And after the Centennial defense stood tall, getting the ball back on downs, Ehlers connected with Tomes two plays later to make it 14-0.
The Mustangs (3-1) were unable to overcome four turnovers, as the stout Broncos defense picked off three passes and recovered a fumble.
“Our defense has been lights-out so far,” Centennial coach Evan Klanecky said. “They basically scored two touchdowns tonight and they were really swarming to the ball.”
The only downer on homecoming night for the Broncos was an injury to running back Haden Richters in the second quarter. The 6-foot, 185-pound senior was helped off the field after an 11-yard gain and didn’t return.
Ehlers picked up the slack, finishing with 161 yards rushing and 108 through the air. The Broncos have yet to lose a regular-season game the past three years during the All-Stater’s time behind center.
“We really try to stay balanced on offense,” Klanecky said. “We feel like we can go to anybody, anywhere, at anytime. “Wyatt makes some unbelievable decisions. “He just makes plays.”
Sutton coach Steve Ramer came away impressed with the Broncos and their plethora of weapons on both sides of the ball.
“This was a measuring stick for us,” he said. “Them (Centennial) and Norfolk Catholic are the top two teams in C-2. “If you want to be at the top, you have to go through them.”
CENTENNIAL 41, SUTTON 22
CENT--Ehlers 4 run (Cast kick)
CENT--Tomes 20 pass from Ehler (Cast kick)
CENT--Tomes 87 interception return (kick blocked)
SUT--Perrien 29 run (run failed)
CENT--Ehlers 70 run (Cast kick)
SUT--Simonsen 3 run (Davis pass from Perrien)
CENT--Ehlers 5 run (Cast kick)
CENT--Schlueter 14 run (Cast kick)
SUT--Simonsen 73 run (Simonsen run)
RUSHING--Sutton, Simonsen 12-122, Perrien 21-73, Griess 2-18. Centennial, Ehlers 13-161, Richters 3-32, Schleuter 8-17, Horne 1-14, Nisly 9-12, Saunders 1-2.
PASSING--Sutton, Perrien 12-29-2 249, Wiseman 0-1-1 0. Centennial, Ehlers 12-25-0 108.
RECEIVING--Sutton, Davis 6-97, Griess 3-22, Stone 3-30. Centennial, Hirschfeld 7-61, Tomes 2-31, Bargen 2-11, Payne 1-5.