CENTURY at MAYO
Friday, 7 p.m.
Mayo High School
2021 records: Century 0-2 overall, 0-2 Big Southeast District; No. 9-ranked Mayo 2-0, 2-0.
Last meeting: Mayo defeated Century 34-14 during the 2020 season, snapping Century's four-game win streak in the series.
Last game: Century lost to Owatonna 16-14. Mayo defeated Northfield 49-22.
Century notes: This will be the 10th meeting between the rivals since the 2015 season. Century holds a 5-4 edge in that time, including 3-0 in section play. The Panthers have to try to find a way to slow the vaunted Mayo offense, which has scored 107 points in two games. Century did limit Owatonna to 228 yards of offense last week and 16 points. Century will need to generate a strong pass rush in an attempt to keep Mayo's passing attack in check. On offense, the Panthers have to try extend drives, something that has been a challenge so far in 2021. Century has managed three touchdowns in two games. Last week the Panthers' TDs came on long runs by Cory Ebling (85 yards) and KK Silipkoh (42 yards). Silipkoh could start to see more time as a running back. He is also a starting defensive back.
Mayo notes: Few teams have been as impressive to start the young season as Mayo. The Spartans are averaging 53.5 points and 441 yards of total offense after two runaway victories over Owatonna and Northfield. But what perhaps terrifies opponents most is Mayo's ability to beat opponents in multiple ways. Running back Noah Smith gashed the Huskies with 188 yards rushing and four touchdowns, as the Spartans ran for 286 yards in the season opener. The following week it was Mayo's aerial attack getting the job done with quarterback Bennett Ellsworth putting up an eye-popping stat line of 390 yards and three touchdowns, while completing 20 of his 24 passes. Receivers Carter and Cayden Holcomb each had eight receptions and went over the century mark with Carter hauling in touchdown passes of 62 and 68 yards. Defensively, Mayo has shown flashes of being a stout group, but coach Donny Holcomb is hoping they can limit the big plays that have plagued them so far.
Century coach Jon Vik says: "Mayo is playing great football. They have a strong running game and explosive passing game. They have great skill players and the line is protecting and opening holes in the running game. It is easy to see on film why they have scored so much these first two games. Defensively Mayo traditionally is very aggressive and physical (and) this year is no different. The front four dominated Owatonna in Week One. With hard-hitting fast linebackers and a secondary that covers well, they have really shut down good offenses."
Mayo coach Donny Holcomb says: "They've got an aggressive team, good speed from the corners and a couple of their running backs. But just all-around the board defensively, they are a very aggressive team and they play downhill. They have a couple big boys in the defensive tackle spots that we have to make sure we're taking care of. But coach Vik always does a nice job with his team and obviously they were right there with Owatonna. They could have taken care of that one."
Up next: On Sept. 24, Century will host Mankato West, and Mayo plays at John Marshall.
— Guy N. Limbeck, Alex VandenHouten • Post Bulletin