Centennial names new quarterback

Centennial names new quarterback

CHAMPAIGN — Dayton Coleman threw the only touchdown pass for Centennial last Friday night.

The Chargers' senior will get a chance to throw more in Week 2.

Centennial coach Lekevie Johnson said Coleman will start under center against Champaign Central when the two Big 12 teams meet at 8 a.m. on Saturday at Tommy Stewart Field.

The rivalry game was slated to kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, but Unit 4 officials and the Champaign Police Department said in a joint statement on Wednesday afternoon that the game would move to Saturday morning in the aftermath of Tuesday night's shooting in Champaign that resulted in the death of Central student David Sankey.

Centennial started senior Dontaice Roberson in its season-opening 48-14 loss at Peoria. Coleman and junior Tiler Peacock also received snaps against the Lions, but Johnson indicated the 6-foot-2, 170-pound Coleman — who went 6 of 16 for 74 passing yards at Peoria — is the guy against Central.

"We're going to give Dayton the nod for four quarters," Johnson said. "We like his ability to read and find the open guys. We're prepping him to not hold on to the ball that long. That's going to be critical for him is to get rid of it in three seconds or less."

Centennial (0-1) and Central (0-1) will vie for their first win of the season, with the Maroons coming off a 33-7 nonconference loss against Metamora in Week 1.

Making sure the Chargers don't get down like they did in their Big 12 loss to Peoria — the Lions led 30-0 at the end of the first quarter — is crucial as Centennial seeks to avoid its second straight loss to Central.

"We've got to stop the run," Johnson said after Peoria rushed for 388 yards against Centennial's defense. "If we're not able to stop the run, it's going to be a long (game) for us."

It's a game Johnson and his team are eager for, though. Especially since Centennial hasn't played a game on the new turf at Tommy Stewart Field yet.

"Our kids are freaking excited," Johnson said with a laugh. "They have to walk past that field every day to go to the practice field, and they're ready to play on their field. This is a game you always enjoy."