CENTRAL - In the battle between District 4-5A’s Wildcats, it was host Central who emerged victorious with a 54-15 win over Walker in a game that featured almost as many penalty yards - 281 - as total passing yards - 317.
Brett Courville and Zack Evans both notched 100-yard rushing nights for Central (3-4, 1-1), and scored three and two touchdowns, respectively.
Courville added another 161 yards passing, including a 46-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Cazes.
“We did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage,” CHS coach Doug Dotson said. “I felt like that gave us the edge in the game.”
Carlton Perkins, the state’s leading rusher heading into the game with 1,448 yards, managed 25 for Walker (3-4, 1-1) as Central stonewalled him almost every time he touched the ball.
“Carlton struggled all week with a hamstring pull that he picked up last week,” said Walker coach Dwayne Severio. “But Central’s defense was also very strong tonight.”
Central opened the game with a five-play, 75-yard drive, engineered almost solely by Courville, who was 3-of-3 for 45 yards and carried the ball for a 6-yard touchdown run on a draw.
CHS doubled its lead early in the second quarter on a 26-yard run by Evans that saw the running back rush up the middle and bounce off a number of Walker tacklers before bouncing to the outside and sprinting upfield.
A 37-yard run up the middle by Courville got Central to the seven-yard line late in the second quarter, and Courville called his own number again and finished the job on the next play to give the host Wildcats a three-score lead.
After Perkins was held in check for the majority of the first half to the tune of five yards on 11 carries, he exploded for 31 on two totes late in the half, the second a 13-yard touchdown rush.
Central responded immediately though, with a 46-yard touchdown pass by Courville to Cazes with 12 seconds left on the clock.
The first half finally ended 90 minutes after it began, with the squads combining for 23 penalties for 211 yards.
Walker wasted no time turning around its lackluster first half after the restart, with a 59-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Lockhart to Perkins on the second play of the half, cutting the lead to 28-15.
Central responded by driving straight back down the field on its next drive and put six more points on the board when Courville rushed up the middle from 13 yards out.
Evans completed the third quarter scoring with a 14-yard run, and Central added another rushing score when backup quarterback Jake Myer carried the ball in from 9 yards out early in the fourth quarter. John Davis scored from 11 yards out to take Central over the 50-point barrier with 5:13 left on the clock.