LEBANON — Central has scored 111 points to opponents’ 43 points in only two games this year. Thursday’s game against Lebanon was a record-setter as the Warriors scored 60 points (the previous record was 56) to the Pioneers’ 21 points.
The Warriors struggled out of the gate as the only score in the first period came from CJ Crabtree on a two-yard run.
In the second quarter, Central quickly put the game out of reach with a whopping 27 points to lead 33-0 at halftime. They scored each time they possessed the ball.
“I thought the kids responded well after an extremely slow start,” Central head coach Luke Owens said. “I thought we ran the ball effectively. We threw the ball well tonight. I thought Ethan (Mullins) did a good job of sitting back in the pocket and delivered the football a couple of times when we needed big plays. And defensively, the effort was great.”
Fullback Matthew Boggs got things started with a 16-yard ramble. Crabtree, who finished with 134 yards on 12 carries, would find the end zone again with an eight-yard run. Boggs then got a second touchdown from the one-yard line. Ethan Mullins found Tyson Tester open in the end zone for the fourth score of the period.
Mullins went 6-for-8 passing on the day with 126 yards and a touchdown.
The Pioneers would score twice in the third quarter, but the Warriors scored three more times as Maddox Reynolds ran it in from the seven, Noah Bolling took a break from destroying the Pioneers on defense to make a two-yard run and Crabtree scampered for 38 yards to put the Warriors up 54-14 after three.
“We’ve had a whole week to prepare for this. Every week, the game we’re playing is the biggest game we’re playing. We showed up ready to play tonight,” Bolling said.
In the fourth quarter, Dustin Sturgill intercepted the ball on the Warriors’ six-yard line and ran it back for 94 yards. The Pioneers would score again making the final 60-21.
“I saw them come out three wide. I knew it had to be a pass,” Sturgill said. “I just watched my guy. He threw it and I caught it and I just took off. I didn’t stop to look.”
The Warriors had almost double the first downs with 15 to Lebanon’s eight. They also owned total offense with 460 yards to 303 for the Pioneers.
“We’ve got a bunch of backs. We can continuously rotate kids in. Our kids can run a little bit,” Owens said.
Next week will be the first district test as Ridgeview comes to town. Coach Owens knows the Wolfpack has strengths on offense and defense.
“Our kids are going to have to show up ready to play. We are going to have to find ways to slow down the Adkins kid. He has made big play after big play. (Alijah) Sproles is awfully tough in the middle of that defense.”
“We’ve got to figure out ways to get first downs and move the ball and keep the football away from them,” Owens said.
Friday’s game against the Wolfpack is slated for a 7 p.m. start at Central.