CENTRAL — Dutchtown got it right this time.
A week after squandering a fourth-quarter lead in a loss to Lutcher, Dutchtown showed more polish as it controlled the final quarter in a 21-14 win at Central.
Dutchtown (1-1) limited Central (1-1) to just one fourth-quarter possession, while holding the ball for nearly nine minutes. Instead of a finish marred by turnovers, the Griffins picked up four first downs when they ran the final 6:22 off the clock.
“We tried to do that last week, and we couldn’t,” Dutchtown coach Benny Saia said. “I was proud we executed this week, and were able to run out the clock. Its awful nice to call out that victory formation to end the game.”
Jared Sparks led Dutchtown completing 7 of 12 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns. Fitell Bolding ran for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Dutchtown broke a 14-14 halftime tie on Averee York’s third-quarter score. York got behind the Central defense to catch a 52-yard touchdown pass from Jared Sparks.
The Griffins defense did the rest. Central managed just 57 yards and three first downs in the second half.
Dutchtown’s biggest stop came early in the second half after a short punt left the Wildcats with a first at the DHS 43. On fourth-and-1, Roderick Osiagwu and Jalen Rudolph stopped Central’s Caleb Moore for no gain.
“I wish I had that one back,” Central coach Sid Edwards said. “Dutchtown made some stops. We got into their territory, but you have to credit them.”
The Wildcats moved into Dutchtown territory midway through the fourth quarter. The Griffins held on fourth-and-9 at the DHS 34.
Dutchtown took over, and never let Central take possession again.
After a scoreless first quarter, the offense picked up with both teams scoring two touchdowns before halftime.
Central linebacker Donovan Furr recovered a fumble at the DHS 39. On the next play, Xavier Lewis found a huge hole in the middle of the line, and scored untouched. Lewis finished with 107 yards topping the Central rushing attack.
Dutchtown’s Cornelius Washington returned the kickoff 33-yards setting up field position near midfield. Four plays later, Jared Sparks found Washington open on the right sideline for a 50-yard score to tie the game.
Central came right back driving 85 yards in eight plays to take a 14-7 lead. Gabe Brown’s 40-yard completion to Trenton Guay gave the Wildcats a first at the DHS 2. Caleb Moore then pushed in for the score, and a 14-7 Central lead.
With 2:18 left in the half, Dutchtown went 80 yards to tie the score. Sparks 12-yard completion to Washington on fourth-and-8 at the CHS 23 set up an 11-yard touchdown run by Fitell Bolding.
Central opened the game with an eight-play drive that took it inside the DHS 25. The Wildcats were turned back on downs.
“I think Central’s speed surprised us initially,” Saia said. “They had the ball the whole first quarter. We needed to get (the defense) off the field, and I think it balanced out in the second half.”