For the Central High football team, this muggy September night felt something like a replay from the week before.
The Wildcats rolled to a convincing home win for the second time in as many games, this time taking a 57-27 victory over outmanned Morgan City and moving to 2-0 on the season.
But coach Sid Edwards knows that times will get tough for the Wildcats soon enough.
Up next is a trip to Jesuit, followed by a home game against McKinley to wrap up the non-district slate.
“We certainly have improved every week since the (preseason) scrimmage, and that’s what we’re looking for, but we’re very aware of what awaits us from here on out,” Edwards said. “I can’t emphasize enough that we certainly understand what lies in front of us.”
Much like in a 34-6 victory over Kipp Renaissance in the opener, Central faced a team in Morgan City (0-2) that entered the night with long odds.
The Wildcats took care of business, scoring early and often and just about every which way.
Running back Leo Brownfield scored twice on the ground, and quarterback Tyler Sansone, a converted running back/tight end seeing his first action behind center in a varsity game, threw a pair of touchdown passes. Justin Vessel took a kickoff 79 yards for a special teams score and Shane Smith recovered a fumble in the end zone to get the defense on the board.
Central led 50-13 late in the third quarter, and much of the second half was played with a running clock.
“We’ve been getting better and better each week,” said senior receiver Terell Chatman, who had three catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. “Now we’re ready for our first big game.”
Edwards continued to experiment at quarterback with Sansone getting the majority of the snaps and Gabe Brown and Ralph Moore seeing action off the bench.
Sansone finished 9-of-12 for 153 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Brown scored on a 24-yard run.
“All three did some really, really good things,” Edwards said. “We’re going to keep plugging away as we go along and try to figure out what we’re going to do with it.”
Morgan City was unable to stay close after pulling within 8-7 on Darian Verdun’s early interception return, but speedy Jaylen Jones and Kevon Marsh provided some of the night’s signature highlights.
Retrieving a botched snap on a third-quarter punt, Jones showed why he is one of Morgan City’s top playmakers as a wide receiver when he found the right sideline and broke loose for an 80-yard score.
Later, he weaved 75 yards for a score on a kickoff return. Marsh, who finished with a game-high 120 yards on 13 carries, went 70 yards for a touchdown in the final minutes.
“We obviously were outmanned, but they never gave up,” first-year Morgan City coach Scott Tregle said of his Tigers. “Even Sid Edwards said, that was a much better team than he faced last year.”
Central romped to a 51-7 win versus Morgan City last year, part of a season in which the Wildcats advanced to the Class 5A quarterfinals.
Whether they have the potential to make a similar run may be revealed in the next few weeks.