Century does what Mayo cannot
Rochester Century was able to do what Rochester Mayo could not.
The Big Nine Conference football game between the crosstown rivals started Friday night, but was postponed to Saturday after multiple flashes of lightning and continuous rain. After a 23-hour, 15-minute delay, a game that was halted with Century lead 3-0 on Friday, boiled down to one thing: The Panthers were able to take advantage of their scoring chances on Saturday.
The Panthers hoisted the Addington Jug — given to the winner of games between Rochester's three public schools — on Mayo's home field because they capitalized not only on the chances they created, but also on the ones that were handed to them.
The result was a 31-14 victory for Century (1-0 Big Nine, 2-0 overall), its second consecutive victory against Mayo.
"(Friday) we had a couple of good opportunities to capitalize on and we didn't," Century coach Jon Vik said. "(Saturday) we did. That's crucial in a tight ballgame."
When the game resumed on Saturday, Century seized the momentum on the first play. Mayo held the ball at its own 25-yard line, facing a third down-and-five. Quarterback Nate Penz fired a slant pass to his left, but the ball was deflected high in the air. Century linebacker Chad Zastrow intercepted it and took it back 31 yards for a 10-0 lead.
"We figured a slant might be coming," Zastrow, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior said. "Our defensive back made a great play to tip it and I just tried to make a play to help the team."
Century took that 10-point lead into halftime, then extended their advantage to 17-0 on its first drive of the third quarter. With the ball at the Mayo 27 -- after runs of 13 yards by Dominique Layfield and 23 by Zastrow -- quarterback Nick Beise (113 yards passing) threw a pass to the corner of the end zone. Century's Jake Acker adjusted nicely to the pass and hauled it in over a Mayo defender.
Mayo (0-1, 0-2) answered just three plays later. After Penz hit Lance Dozier on a 50-yard passing play, Spartans fullback Ben Gillard plowed in from a yard out to make it 17-7 with 8:57 to play in the third.
Layfield scored from a yard out for Century with 2:00 to go in the third, but Mayo responded again.
After a 50-yard kickoff return to Century's 49 by Kevale Taylor, Mayo went 49 yards in three plays. Senior tailback Ethan Johnson capped the drive with a 3-yard run.
"At that point, we were still in the game," Mayo coach Kevin Landherr said. "They were up 17-0 and 24-7, and we come back and score. We were right back in it. We just made too many mistakes from that point."
A key mistake came on the next Spartans' possession, when a low snap resulted in a failed punt attempt. Century took over at the Mayo 19-yard line and Layfield scored five plays later from five yards out to put the game away.
Mayo twice drove inside Century's 20-yard line in the final seven minutes, but turned over the ball on downs both times.
Penz led Mayo with 242 yards passing, completing 19 of 39 attempts. He was intercepted twice, both on passes that were deflected. Dozier, a senior receiver playing his first game of the season after missing the opener because of an injury, caught six passes for 112 yards.
"We had too many mistakes and missed opportunities," Landherr said. "They're all fixable, but they were all momentum shifters and we weren't able to overcome them."
Zastrow led Century on the ground, rushing for 132 yards on just 14 carries (a 9.7-yard average), while Layfield ran 10 times for 31 yards.
Century returns to its home field Friday for a scheduled 7 p.m. game against Austin (0-2). Mayo looks for its first victory of the season when it visits Winona for a 7 p.m. game.
CENTURY 31, MAYO 14
CENT — Ben Harney FG 30, 3:46.
Drive: 10 plays, 39 yards, 3:59. Key play: Chad Zastrow 14 run to Mayo 16.
CENT — Zastrow 31 interception return (Harney kick) 4:02.
CENT — Jake Acker 27 pass from Nick Beise (Harney kick) 10:02.
Drive: 5 plays, 80 yards, 1:58. Key play: Zastrow 23 run to Mayo 25.
MAYO — Ben Gillard 1 run (Thomas Hannon kick) 8:57.
Drive: 3 plays, 62 yards, 1:05. Key play: Lance Dozier 50 pass from Nate Penz.
CENT— Dominique Layfield 1 run (Harney kick) 2:00.
Drive: 8 plays, 73 yards, 4:11. Key play: Zastrow 40 run to Mayo 6.
MAYO— Ethan Johnson 3 run (Hannon kick) :58.
Drive: 3 plays, 49 yards, 1:02. Key play: Zach Rhodes 46 pass from Penz to Century 3.
CENT — Layfield 5 run (Harney kick) 7:37.
Drive: 6 plays, 19 yards, 2:01. Key play: Beise pass for 10 yards to Mayo 5 on fourth-and-6.
Total net yards#296#318
Time of poss.#24:24#23:36
RUSHING — Century: Chad Zastrow 14-132, Dominique Layfield 10-31, Brian Christenson 4-14, Kyle Riggott 3-8, Nick Beise 5-(minus-2). Mayo: Ethan Johnson 14-59, Ben Gillard 3-6, Nate Penz 4-(minus-9).
PASSING — Century: Nick Beise 10-19-1, 113 yards, 1 TD. Mayo: Nate Penz 19-39-2, 248 yards; Alec Elseth 1-1-0, 14.
RECEIVING — Century: Kyle Riggott 4-62, Jake Acker 3-39, 1 TD, Kristofer Sveum 2-12, Chad Zastrow 1-0. Mayo: Lance Dozier 6-112, Zach Rhodes 4-81, Michael Idso 4-24, Dontai Karnitz 2-14, Ethan Johnson 1-9, Ben Gillard 1-6, Justin Ashbaugh 1-2.