Gerhart carries the load

first_img The Cougars’ Toby Gerhart rushed for 448 yards and a career-high six touchdowns, moving into second on the state’s all-time rushing list. In other words, Centennial was flat-out dominated by the Inland Valley’s top-ranked team (6-0). Norco coach Todd Gerhart, Toby’s father, glowed with pride after the game. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “I’m real proud of him as a dad, and as a coach, I’d love to have him for a few more years,” the elder Gerhart said. Toby Gerhart said he and his teammates knew nothing of Centennial’s pre-game antics, which commemorated last season’s CIF title game between the same two teams. It didn’t matter. Centennial (4-2) was overwhelmed from the start in the Mountain View League game, falling into a 29-0 halftime hole. Gerhart rushed for all four Norco scores in the first half, and had 288 yards on 20 carries in the opening two quarters alone. Gerhart’s first-half scores included runs of 36 and 67 yards, as well as two other scampers of 20-plus yards. In the second half, a revived Centennial team marched down the field with a 15-play drive to cut the lead to 29-7. Following a Norco fumble, the Huskies scored again, on Ryan Bass’ only touchdown of the night. NORCO – Corona Centennial paraded onto Norco’s football field with “We are the Champions” blaring through the speakers. The Centennial cheerleaders teased the Norco crowd with a sign that said, “Huskies: AKA 2004 CIF Champions.” Good thing Centennial brought all those reminders. Norco made sure the Huskies looked nothing like defending champs. center_img Bass, who has been a Gerhart-like threat at times this season, was held to 70 rushing yards for the game, including just four in the first half. As a team, Centennial had zero rushing yards in the first half. The margin remained 29-14 heading into the fourth quarter, but that was as close as the Huskies got. Gerhart scored his fifth touchdown just minutes into the final period, and tallied his final run – a 24-yard score – with 3:04 remaining in the game. For a back who said he averaged 14 carries a game, his 35 rushes took quite a toll. “I’m real tired, to be honest with you,” Gerhart said. “I’m worn out completely. This is my first full game all year.” Norco managed to survive shoddy play in a few areas. The Cougars fumbled the ball five times, but lost just one. Also, the team committed 15 penalties for 120 yards. Fortunately for Norco, those mistakes were offset by Centennial’s four turnovers (two fumbles, two interceptions) and 10 Huskies penalties. Norco now has the upper hand in league play after getting swept by Centennial last season. As for the rivalry between the two teams, Toby Gerhart said there wasn’t much talking between the players. “It was probably hard for them to talk when we got the early lead,” he said. Centennial quarterback Chris Scott managed to pass for 287 yards and two touchdowns, going 26-of-38 with two interceptions. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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