By David Purdum / For the AJC
Alpharetta appears to be playing its best football heading into the final week of the season.
Josh Dobbs threw for 382 yards and four touchdown passes, and the Raiders’ defense had three interceptions in a 41-23 win over visiting Centennial on Friday.
Alpharetta (6-3, 5-1 6-AAAAAA) has locked up one of the four playoff spots from the region and has now won five straight heading into the giant regular-season finale at Johns Creek. The winner will clinch at least the No. 2 seed out of the region and a home playoff game.
Centennial could not overcome the turnovers and saw its three-game win streak snapped. The Knights (3-6, 3-3) still can sneak into the postseason with a win against Chattahoochee next week.
The Raiders scored 14 points in 12 seconds in the second quarter to break open a close game. First, Dobbs hit a streaking Daniel Clements for a 54-yard touchdown with 3:15 left before half. Clements finished with seven catches for 178 yards and two touchdowns.
The Knights fumbled an exchange on their first play of their ensuing possession, and Jay Youngblood recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown to extend the Raiders’ lead to 20-3 with 3:03 left in the second quarter.
Centennial started from inside its 10-yard line on three of its possession in the first half.
Bryce Grauss’ interception and 34-yard return got Alpharetta started in the second half. Stefohn Perry would cash in from 12 yards out to the Raiders firmly in command, up 27-3 early in the third quarter.
Michael Downing and Evan Troutt also had interceptions for Alpharetta.
The lead would stretch to 34-3 on a Dobbs’ 8-yard touchdown pass to Rodney Morris with five minutes to play in the third quarter. But Centennial managed to get back in the game with two long touchdown passes by Chase Rosenberg and fumble recovery and return for a touchdown by Lloyd Glenn that cut the Alpharetta lead to 34-23.
Dobbs would respond with an 81-yard touchdown pass to Blake Rowlinson, giving the Raiders a comfortable 18-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Rosenberg completed 19 of 35 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Caden Herring had eight catches for 118 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown reception in the Knights’ flurry in the third quarter.
Centennial 3 0 20 0 — 23
Alpharetta 6 14 21 0 –41
C – Devin O’Neill 28 field goal
A – Daniel Clements 32 pass from Josh Dobbs (pass failed)
A – Clements 54 pass from Dobbs (Thomas Waller kick)
A – Jay Youngblood fumble recovery (Waller kick)
A – Stefohn Perry 12 run (Waller kick)
A – Rodney Morris 8 pass from Dobbs (Waller kick)
C – Lloyd Glenn 10 fumble return (O’Neill kick)
C – Matthew Harries 48 pass from Chase Rosenberg (run failed)
C – Caden Herring 49 pass from Rosenberg (O’Neill kick)
A – Blake Rowlinson 81 pass from Dobbs (Waller kick)