At stake will be an opportunity for each team to kick start the 2012 season on the right foot, along with 12 months worth of bragging rights as the city’s top team.
“It’s becoming a big-time rivalry,” said Roswell head coach Justin Sanderson. “Our kids have so much tradition with their kids, they grew up with them playing youth baseball and football with them, and we wanted to schedule them to keep that tradition going.”
“They are the other school in Roswell and it’s a big opportunity for us to really get some momentum going.”
Historically speaking the Hornets have the better end of the rivalry with a 9-3 record since play started in 2000, but it’s the Knights that have carried the honor of Roswell’s top dog the last two seasons — winning 17-14 in 2010 and 32-30 last fall on a game-winning field goal in the waning seconds.
“[The rivalry] certainly was an attention getter when we preparing in the offseason,” said Centennial coach Jeff Carlberg, who will get his first taste of the rivalry on Friday night at 7:30. “This is the team our kids share the city with and they are going to get a chance to go up against the guys they grew up with right down the road.”
In preparation for the game both coaching staff’s attended the oppositions preseason scrimmage and came away impressed with what they saw.
“We saw them scrimmage Alpharetta and they looked great, really physical, and whooped Alpharetta pretty good up front,” said Carlberg of the Aug. 17 exhibition game that Roswell won 17-14. “They are going to have one ‘heck of a year if they play like that and we’ll have to do a good job on the line-of-scrimmage to prevent [Roswell running back] Andrew Kwateng from running up and down the field on us.”
Sanderson (who said he scheduled Alpharetta to prepare for teams like Centennial) said stopping the Knights’ passing attack will be at the forefront of his game plan.
“[Chase Rosenberg] is a good player at quarterback and they have some good weapons at receiver with [Christian Robinson],” Sanderson said of the duo that connected seven times for 145 yards and two touchdowns in Centennial’s Aug. 24 scrimmage against Marist.
“We have to stop the big play but we can’t let them dink-and-dunk us either. The key will be finding a way to get pressure on the quarterback.”