Whatever it was that Centennial did in the second half, the Bulldogs will want to find a way to keep it going for the rest of the season.
The No. 4 Bulldogs were dominant after halftime in pulling away from Cimarron-Memorial for a 34-14 home victory Friday night.
"We just came out ready to play in the second half," senior tight end and defensive end Trajan Pili said. "In the first half, we weren't ready to go for whatever reason. We just weren't playing hard. The second half showed what we can do. We were just getting beat up front on the lines. We just came out in the second half and punched them in the mouth."
Centennial (6-1, 3-0 Southwest Division) outscored Cimarron 20-0 after halftime and outgained the Spartans 225-37.
"Our defense stood up to the challenge like they do every week and stopped that running game," Centennial coach Leon Evans said. "They just did a great job tonight."
The Bulldogs also got their own running game going, racking up 300 yards.
Senior Coby Newton totaled 191 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries and speedy junior Lantz Worthington added 94 yards on nine carries, including a 58-yard first-quarter TD that opened the scoring.
"That 1-2 punch was really working," Evans said.
Newton said the blocking deserves a lot of credit for the success on the ground, particularly singling out some big holes opened by fullback Josh Gray, who also scored on a 1-yard run.
"We went in the locker room and just said we had to come out and be more physical, and we definitely were," Newton said.
The Bulldogs took the ball first after halftime and capped a 10-play, 67-yard drive with a 29-yard TD pass from Austin Turley to Pili.
The defense forced a three-and-out and then stopped the Spartans again on a fourth down at the 25-yard line on the same drive after Centennial muffed a punt.
It was as close as Cimarron (3-4, 1-2) would come to scoring the rest of the night.
Turley scored from 1-yard on his only carry of the game, early in the fourth quarter, and Newton added a 37-yard TD run late.
It's not that Centennial played poorly in the first half.
The Bulldogs racked up nearly 200 yards of offense, but a couple of mistakes kept Cimarron in the game and the Spartans went into halftime tied 14-14 after Derek Morefield connected with Maurice Bennett on a 41-yard touchdown pass with 1:12 left.
Bennett caught three passes for 51 yards and Justin Davis ran for 76 yards on 15 carries for the Spartans.
Morefield added a rushing touchdown to tie the game 7-7 early in the second quarter, only to have Centennial immediately retake the lead on Gray's scoring run.
Turley threw for 115 yards on 7 of 15 passing.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.