ERIE -- Friday night at Erie High School proved to be quite the family affair -- and on homecoming, no less.

In the second quarter of Friday's football game, with Erie leading Centaurus 7-0, this was the brotherly tag team that blew open the contest in a 47-19 Tiger victory:

On fourth-and-2, sophomore Noah Roper broke a run wide to the right sideline and galloped 41 yards for an EHS touchdown.

On Centaurus' ensuing possession, senior Zach Roper, Noah's older brother, got into the act by intercepting a Shaquille Ebadi pass at the Centaurus 41-yard line.

Then -- you guessed it -- on Erie's third play of the next possession, Noah Roper broke another one, traversing the field for a 36-yard TD run.

And after racking up 150 yard rushing by intermission, Noah Roper participated in halftime festivities as part of the homecoming royalty. All told, he finished the night with 209 yards on 24 carries, with TD runs of 41, 36 and 12 yards.

"It's a pretty cool dynamic to have them," coach Chad Cooper said of the Roper brothers. "Zach plays fullback for us so he's usually in there blocking for Noah, which is a pretty cool deal. Then he got an interception on defense. They've both been working hard and doing a great job. They showed that with what they did tonight.

"Noah can be a special kid when he gets in there."

All in all, there was plenty of reason for the home team and crowd to celebrate Friday as the Tigers, ranked No. 9 in the state in 3A, improved to 4-0 on the season.


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Centaurus, meanwhile, saw its two-game win streak end and fell to 2-2 after its first road contest of the season. A week after rallying from a 24-point deficit to win, trailing 20-0 at halftime proved too big of a hurdle to overcome. And it certainly didn't help that the Warriors fumbled the ball away on their first play from scrimmage in the third quarter.

Erie held Centaurus scoreless until there was 2:56 left in the third quarter, when Shaquille Ebadi hit Dylan Serlin with a 12-yard TD strike. That cut the lead to 20, but the Tigers responded two plays later with a TD of their own.

Ebadi had just 49 yards passing at halftime, but came on strong in the second half and finished with 266 yards through the air, albeit with two interceptions.

Friday marked the fifth time in the last five seasons Erie has beaten Centaurus.

Besides Zach Roper, Ryley Deckert picked off a CHS pass in the second quarter. And shortly after halftime, Deckert would score on a 7-yard TD rush.

Senior Trevor David made his debut for Erie after missing the first three games of the season after having a benign growth on the back of his tibia removed in the offseason. He finished with 14 yards on five rushes, but got banged up and went to the sideline in the fourth quarter.

Centaurus quarterback Shaquille Ebadi hands the ball to a teammate Friday night at Erie.
Centaurus quarterback Shaquille Ebadi hands the ball to a teammate Friday night at Erie. (Autumn Parry / Staff Photographer)

"They said it had something to do with his knee," Cooper said. "He'll be re-evaluated tomorrow. They don't think it's serious, which is a good thing."

Next up, Erie plays at Silver Creek on Thursday, while Centaurus will host Frederick on Friday.

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Erie 47, Centaurus 19

At Erie H.S.

Centaurus (2-2) 0 0 13 6 — 19 
Erie (4-0) 7 13 13 14 — 47

First quarter

Erie — Ruben Portillo 1 run (Julian Custine kick).

Second quarter

Erie — Noah Roper 41 run (kick blocked). Erie — Roper 36 run (Custine kick).

Third quarter

Erie — Ryley Deckert 7 run (Custine kick). Centaurus — Dylan Serlin 12 pass from Shaquille Ebadi (Nick Gomez kick). Erie — Quintin Hyrup 49 pass from Portillo (run fail). Centaurus — Serlin 7 pass from Ebadi (Gomez kick).

Fourth quarter

Erie — Roper 12 run (Custine kick). Centaurus — Andres Mendoza 26 pass from Ebadi (pass fail). Erie — Nathan Hahn 3 run (Custine kick).

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Centaurus: Silver 10-53, Montoya 1-15, Aguilar 2-13, Ebadi 2-9, Losasso 4-6, Wassmer 1-5, Post 2-0, Dickson 1-0. Erie: N. Roper 24-209, Deckert 5-53, Hahn 7-27, David 5-14, Portillo 11-14.

PASSING — Centaurus: Ebadi 24-42-2-266, Montoya 1-1-0-5. Erie: Portillo 5-8-0-118.

RECEIVING — Centaurus: Serlin 8-74, Mendoza 7-122, Aguilar 4-33, Silver 4-27, Losasso 1-10, Casados 1-5. Erie: Hyrup 1-49, N. Roper 1-33, Mathis 1-24, Deckert 1-10, Z. Roper 1-2.