Denham Springs began Friday’s game at Central with an offensive bang, scoring on three of its first four possessions and riding the legs of freshman running back Tyree Golmond to an early three-touchdown lead.
Then the Yellow Jackets turned it over to their defense.
Denham held Central at bay as the game settled into something more like a defensive struggle, making sure the Yellow Jackets got the stops they needed in a 28-6 win.
“We started out great and with a lot of energy. We didn’t quite maintain that focus, but the defense hung in there to finish the (first) half at 21-6 and did a great job,” Denham coach Dru Nettles said.
Golmond finished with 148 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries, marking his fourth 100-yard rushing performance in the last five games. He had five carries for 75 yards in the first quarter after returning the opening kickoff 76 yards to the Central 25.
But the Yellow Jackets couldn’t celebrate their first win over Central since 2010 until junior Robert Thomas raced 76 yards for a score in the final minutes.
DSHS now holds a 32-31-4 edge in a series that dates back 67 years.
“Credit coach Nettles and his staff,” Central coach Sid Edwards said. “Those guys looked sharp tonight.”
Remaining unbeaten in District 5-5A play, DSHS (4-2, 3-0) won for the fourth time in five games.
Meanwhile, Central (2-4, 0-2) dropped its fourth game in a row and stayed winless in district.
Field position often favored the Wildcats for the final three quarters, but the only points Central could muster came on Leo Brownfield’s 46-yard TD run early in the second.
Brownfield finished with 83 yards on nine carries.
“The greatest challenge at this point is from within,” Edwards said. “I believe our kids are going to rally and we’re going to continue to fight, but that’s the huge challenge for our coaching staff — to keep this thing alive. We’re not dead yet. We’ve got to make sure we all pull together and do what we’ve got to do to make a run at it.”
Denham Springs started scoring Friday soon after it crossed the Amite River, with Golmond’s opening kickoff setting up a 13-yard TD run by quarterback Torez Kinchen for a 7-0 lead.
It was 21-0 when Golmond went untouched up the middle of the Central defense for 39 yards with 15 seconds left in the first quarter.
But the DSHS offense soon became stagnant, putting the outcome of the game largely on the shoulders of its defense. The Yellow Jackets forced seven Central punts, recovered one fumble and made two stops on fourth down.
“Our defensive line really affected this job, really did a fantastic job for four quarters,” Nettles said. “The defense was outstanding.”