LAFAYETTE — With three straight home games at the newly renovated Spangenberg Field, the Centaurus football team was set up to start the 2016 season on the right path.
And if the past two contests are any indication, the Warriors are up for a little backyard football after winning another barn burner on Friday night.
For the second consecutive week, Centaurus mounted a furious rally against an opponent in its friendly confines, this time coming back from a 24-0 second quarter deficit to upend the Berthoud Spartans 40-32.
While its defense made some fantastic adjustments to keep Berthoud's big play ability down after halftime, the Warriors' fortunes did a complete 180 thanks in large part to the effort of their senior quarterback Shaquille Ebadi.
After seeing several of his passes deflected at the line of scrimmage in the first half, Ebadi found the right touch in the second half throwing for three touchdown passes in addition to completing 9 of 14 passes for 153 yards.
His best throw of the night may have been the game-winning touchdown, a 44-yard floater down the left sideline to Andres Mendoza that made it 33-32 with 8 minutes, 59 seconds left in the game.
Damian Aguilar's 1-yard plunge with 1:27 left gave the Warriors a little breathing room, and the defense held off Berthoud just enough in the final ticks of the clock despite a couple of penalties that gave the Spartans (1-2) that ball at the CHS 21 yard line with 23 seconds left at one point.
It was a far different finish for the Warriors than how it started. Berthoud amassed over 300 yards of offense using some big plays — they had touchdown plays of 81 and 44 yards — and appeared to be in control midway through the second stanza.
Needing a jolt, Centaurus (2-1) got one in the form of a 61-yard play from Ebadi to Christian Varga to get the Warriors down to the BHS 7. Anthony Losasso ran in from there to make it 24-7.
Field possession played a major role in the Warriors rally. They made it 24-20 with a 16-yard TD pass from Ebadi to Elijah Silver after starting possession at the BHS 33, and then gained a 26-24 edge later on in the quarter on Silver's 7-yard run with 38 seconds left in the third quarter — another possession that started in plus territory.
Silver and Aguilar both had some special plays on special teams to make those drives a lot shorter.
Ebadi had plenty of targets to throw to, including Dylan Serlin (six catches for 81 yards), Mendoza (three for 70) and Silver (two for 40). Silver also tallied 69 rushing yards to lead the team.
Centaurus faces Erie next week.
Centaurus 40, Berthoud 32
At Spangenberg FieldBerthoud (1-1) 12 12 0 8 — 32
Centaurus (1-1) 0 7 19 14 — 40
Berthoud — Wyatt Woodrick 81 run (kick blocked). Berthoud — Danny Pelphrey 44 pass from Brock Voth (kick blocked).
Berthoud — Woodrick 5 run (run failed). Berthoud — Woodrick 3 run (pass failed). Centaurus — Anthony Losasso 7 run (Nick Gomez kick).
Centaurus — Dylan Serlin 28 pass from Shaq Ebadi (Gomez kick). Centaurus — Elijah Silver 16 pass from Ebadi (kick failed). Centaurus — Silver 7 run (kick failed).
Berthoud — Danny Pelphrey 18 pass from Voth (Voth run). Centaurus — Andres Mendoza 44 pass from Ebadi (Gomez kick). Centaurus — Damian Aguilar 1 run (Gomez kick).
RUSHING — Berthoud: Wyatt Woodrick 14-118, Brock Voth 9-37, Jake Yuska 1-5, Anthony Trojahn 1-3. Centaurus: Elijah Silver 9-69, Anthony Losasso `17-44, Damian Aguilar 9-33, Mac Post 1-5, John Dickson 1-5, Shaq Ebadi 1-2.
PASSING — Berthoud: Voth 16-39-0-248. Centaurus: Ebadi 20-41-1-314.
RECEIVING — Berthoud: Woodrick 5-53, Danny Pelphrey 5-63, Jake Rafferty 1-18, Trojahn 1-68, Levi Decker 2-27, Dakota Rodriguez 1-9. Centaurus: Dylan Serlin 6-81, Christian Varga 3-76, Losasso 4-26, Andres Mendoza 3-70, Aguilar 1-20, Silver 2-40.