Game of the Week: Roswell vs. Centennial

Image 1 of 2

The last time Roswell hosted Centennial, the authorities were called.

Kind of.


Roswell head coach Matt Kemper said the city rivalry with Centennial wasn't played for a few seasons, and the community was pretty excited when the rivalry was renewed two years ago.

"When we played here last year, I think it had been four years since we had played. The fire marshal actually made us shut the gates and turn people away," Roswell recalled. "So we hope the same thing happens over there for them."


Centennial hosts this year's installation of the Mayor's Cup battle against the Hornets, and on top of that, it's the High 5 Game of the Week with the Golden Hand trophy at stake as well.

"We'll try to keep our guys focused," said Kemper. "The worst times to be a football coach are homecoming, senior night and if you're on TV, but other than that, we'll try to capitalize on it and just keep them focused."


Knights head coach Shane Sams is the third new head coach at Centennial in five seasons. He said his young squad is excited for its home opener Friday night, and even had some adorable help revealing that they were being featured in the High 5 Game of the Week.

"It means a lot to the community, obviously the city rivalry," said Sams. "Roswell's in the name and everything like that. It pumps kids up. It's that kind of beat: Who is the best in the city? So they're excited about that."


Roswell is coming off a 35-0 shutout of Campbell in its season opener, while Centennial lost 46-13 at Northside Warner Robins, where Sams was offensive coordinator before being tapped the Knights' head coach.

But Sams said after starting a handful of freshmen on defense, Week 1 showed him that they're not an "ordinary freshmen" class.

"(We found out) that we can play," he said. "We went down to a hostile environment. They were ranked No. 2 in the state, and we played with them all the way through."


Kemper said the biggest weapon the Hornets look to limit is four-star Centennial junior receiver Julian Nixon.

For the Hornets, their offense is anchored by a strong offensive line led by three-star left tackle Trey Zimmerman, who's committed to UNC.