Elliott Nelson rushed for three St. Thomas More touchdowns, including two in a six-TD explosion in the second half, to help down Centennial in B.C. high school AAA varsity football last Friday.
STM's 46-6 victory over the 1-3 Centaurs kept the varsity Knights in a first-place tie with Lord Tweedsmuir in the Eastern conference.
STM rushed for more than 300 yards, including 83 yards from Nelson and similar numbers from Jalen Jana and Darthe Capellan, who had two big gainers for the Knights in the second half.
N e l s o n opened the scoring, finishing off a six-play, 55-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown run that was set up following a fumble recovery by Rafal Posypanko in the first quarter.
Ty Stewart engineered a two-point convert, tossing a short strike to Dante Vigini to make the score 8-0 with less than two minutes left in the opening quarter.
STM had more chances to score in the first half, but squandered the rest of them.
Jana fumbled near the red zone on a promising early second-quarter drive and Giovanni Trasolini dropped a sure touchdown interception late in the first half.
Chase Malcolm also turned the ball over in the air on two other occasions, including an ill-advised pick on the Centaur's goal-line in an attempt to thread the needle through a cluster of blue-shirted Centennial defensive backs. That drive was set up by Vigini, who recovered a fumble on the Centennial 48.
However, Malcolm finished the night with respectable numbers, going eight-for-13 and 160 yards through the air.
But everything went right in the second half for the Knights despite a brief shower at kickoff time.
Stewart started things off with an opportunistic fumble recovery off the kickoff at the Centaur's 27 yard line.
Three plays later, Jana raced into the end zone from 24 yards out.
On the ensuing possession, Lee caught his first of two touchdown passes, turning the DB inside out on a 37-yard pass-and-run score.
Nelson put the home Knights on top 28-0 with a one-yard scoring run later in the quarter.
STM didn't slow down in the final 12 minutes.
Jana put the Knights back in scoring position with a 25-yard return off a Centaur punt that set up Nelson for his third rushing TD.
On the scoring play, Nelson burst through a hole in the Centennial line and rambled 50 yards for STM's fourth straight TD of the second half.
Thomas Tassone on a 27-yard cutback and Lee, with a 16-yard pass reception tacked 12 more points onto the Knights' lead.
The only reply from the Coquitlam squad was a 36yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter by Nathan Lund.
"Any time you get a good special team play you're going to get a big boost," said Nelson on the Stewart kickoff recovery. "We executed a lot better in the second half and we did what we wanted to do on defence."
That included holding the elusive Lund to just 125 yards and one score on the ground, while STM's DBs controlled the airways with some timely defensive plays.
Nico Repole also had a couple of key sacks on quarterback Nick Okamoto.
The win sets the stage for a first-place showdown against Lord Tweedsmuir on Friday in Surrey.
With earlier victories over W.J. Mouat and Terry Fox in the Knights' current win streak, Nelson believes that something special is happening to the STM team.
"We're going to a perfect place," added Stewart. "We haven't played that perfect game yet, but we're building on it."