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Corona Centennial's quarterback has been filling big shoes

Junior Robert Webber 'always wanted to be' among the Huskies quarterbacks making their mark in college football. He'll lead his team's no-huddle offense against Narbonne to decide a CIF Southland championship Saturday.

December 04, 2012|Eric Sondheimer
  • Centennial quarterback Robert Webber looks for an open receiver against Murrieta during the Inland Division Championship game at Murrieta High on Nov. 30
Centennial quarterback Robert Webber looks for an open receiver against… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

Robert Webber remembers attending his first Corona Centennial High football game in the sixth grade. He saw quarterback Matt Scott (Arizona) running and passing the ball. Then he watched Taylor Martinez (Nebraska) and Michael Eubank (Arizona State).

"I always wanted to be one of those quarterbacks," he said.

Not only has Webber taken over as the No. 1 gunslinger in Centennial's no-huddle, always unpredictable offense, he has set the school season passing record with 3,344 yards and 34 touchdowns.

"That's a pretty big feat considering the guys who've come through here," Coach Matt Logan said.

Webber still has at least one more game to go this season because the Huskies (13-1) are set to play unbeaten Harbor City Narbonne (14-0) on Saturday night at Cerritos College in the inaugural CIF state regional Open Division championship bowl game.

Webber, 5 feet 10 and 170 pounds, has taken to Centennial's offense like a duck to water. Only a junior, he makes decisions and judgments as if he has been running the offense for years.

"He's like having another coach on the field," Logan said.

It can be chaotic, frantic and nerve-racking all at once as Webber tries to run play after play in rapid fashion. But he follows the advice his father, Jay, has been telling him his whole life, "Never get too high, never get too low."

"It comes with a little bit of pressure," Webber said of playing quarterback at Centennial. "You can't buy into the hype. You have to play like it's a normal game. Don't make it more than it already is."

Similar to many other Centennial quarterbacks in Logan's 16 years as coach, Webber is a dual threat. He has rushed for 648 yards and seven touchdowns. He has had four passes intercepted.

"I listened to the coaches and played the way I knew I had to play," Webber said. "I bought into the system, and it's working so far — do your job, don't try to do too much, make the right reads, keep playing Husky football."

There won't be any poll needed to decide No. 1 in Southern California after Saturday's results.

In Week 15 of the state's longest high school football season, Narbonne and Centennial have proven to be the two best teams in the Southland. And the winner will get to face the best in Northern California, Concord De La Salle or Folsom, in the Dec. 15 state championship Open Division bowl game at the Home Depot Center.

"This is what you live for," Webber said. "This is what you prepare for. When you get that opportunity, you don't want it to slip out of your hand. Some of our players are sore and physically beat up, but they'll be good."

Webber said what motivates Centennial players is competing for championships. The Huskies won their seventh section title last week, and their coaches keep reminding the players there's more to accomplish.

"They come every day with a positive attitude trying to get us better," Webber said. "You want to leave a legacy as one of the greatest teams to ever play at Centennial."

The City Section Division I champion versus the Inland Division champion. Washington-bound quarterback Troy Williams of Narbonne against Centennial's latest quarterback sensation.

It's going to be a fun game Saturday night.

Twitter: @LATSondheimer

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