Centennial junior quarterback Ruben Beltran fumbled the first snap from scrimmage.
Three plays later Avondale Westview found the end zone on a Ricky Martinez pass to Daryl Stagger.
Two hours later Beltran exited with eight minutes to go in the contest. Other than that opening miscue he wasn't stopped.
Host Centennial (5-1) rolled off 38 unanswered points in route to a convincing 38-7 victory against Westside foe Avondale Westview (3-2). Gleson Sprewell, who plays both sides of the ball, credited the lines.
"Offensively we are getting better. But the defense tonight was phenomenal. All the respect in the world to Westview and their run game. That Wing-T is something else. We just contained an explosive offense so that's something to build off of," Sprewell said.
Centennial struck back quickly after the lone opening deficit, taking eight plays and chewing up 69 yards. The march concluded with a Taylor Fiame dive.
Senior tailback Tyler Vasko entered the contest leading the state with 205 rushing yards a game. Unofficially he finished with 66.
Coach Richard Taylor echoed the sentiments of his senior defensive back.
"That's a great offense. We've had some battles with them over the years for sure. The Wing-T is very challenging to prepare specially on three days notice. After that first score allowed our guys settled in," Coach Taylor said.
Settled in may be an understatement. The Coyotes shut out the Knights over the final 46:51 of the contest.
Zidane Thomas broke free from 53 yards away to make it 31-7 late in the third. Thomas finished with 117 yards on a mere 10 rushes.
But it was the passing game that was clicking on all cylinders Thursday. Beltran finished 12 of 15 for 194 yards and two touchdown passes. Senior Connor Sovacki and Spreewell were the recipients.
"Z broke that which we felt ended it. He has big play ability. My guys got open for me. I have an amazing o-line. Other than the pick I gave my team a chance," Beltran said.
Centennial ran 43 plays from scrimmage for 374 yards. They say they can get better.
That's scary to think.
It's hard to believe the two Westside powers hadn't met since 2010. Centennial improved to 7-0 since 2005 against their former division rival. Included in that stat were 5A-Division II state title victories over the Knights in 2007 and 2008.
Centennial will rest up with a bye week. They don't have a game until Oct. 7. Northwest Region play begins against Shadow Ridge.