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Another Peoria Unified school looking to rebound from a Week 1 beatdown was Centennial, which suffered its first shutout loss to an in-state opponent in the past 23 seasons when it lost 42-0 to SBLive Power 25 No. 25 Hamilton.

While both teams were under COVID-19 restrictions over the summer, the Peoria schools faced stricter limits, which Coyotes coach Richard Taylor said made a difference in preparation.

“I know it sounds like an excuse, but that’s exactly what happened,” he said.

Still, there was no getting over the fact that his team took the loss hard.

“It was embarrassing. It was not a game,” Taylor said. “But to their credit, our kids stayed together. They realized the situation, and they worked hard.”

And on Friday, the Coyotes showed they will still play a significant factor in the 6A and Open playoff races, shutting out Mountain Pointe 37-0 — their 20th shutout since 2016.

“I was really happy with our defense, how the linebackers were fitting with the defensive line better,” Taylor said. “Our stunts, our blitzes were a lot crisper than they were before.”

Next up for Centennial is a matchup with Williams Field, last year’s 5A champion that also moved up to 6A with the Coyotes this fall, followed by the start of Region 1 play against Pinnacle and an Oct. 30 matchup with SBLive Power 25 No. 5 Chandler.

— René FerránJames Scott photo by Tim Thiele

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