IMPACT PLAYER - Centennial senior Cyrus Boatman brings a physical presence to the Eagles

OUTLOOK PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Centennial senior Cyrus Boatman fires up the crowd after forcing a turnover in last weeks 20-16 win over Roosevelt. Centennial is relying on senior linebacker Cyrus Boatman to be its stopper on defense this fall. His job in the middle being to find the ball and lead the flow of Eagles to stuff it in its tracks.

"He's a really imposing presence in the middle and does a great job shutting down the inside run," Centennial coach Butch Self said.

It was that kind of play last week that found Boatman emerging from a pile with a fumble recovery to set the Eagles in motion for their winning drive against Roosevelt.

"I just try to make plays when I'm out there and give the team a spark," Boatman said.

Boatman also sees the field on the offensive side, most often in the QB spot when the team calls out its jumbo package. At 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, he is a load to bring to the turf.

"He makes great reads in our veer, and when he runs he's going to fall forward and gain yards," Self said. "He brings a physicality to the position that is not normal — it brings a different dynamic for the defense to deal with."

Boatman compares his style to that of Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton.

"He's not easy to take down, he's always fighting, and he can throw the ball, too," Boatman said.

Look for Centennial's team preview in our Friday, Sept. 14, print edition.

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