LAFAYETTE - Handling the St. Thomas More defense proved too difficult of a challenge for Central High on Friday night.
The Wildcats finished with just 89 total yards, as STM, the top-ranked team in Class 4A, disposed of 5A Central, 24-0, at Cougar Stadium.
STM’s shutout was the second straight for the Cougars, who have outscored their first two opponents 68-0.
“(STM’s) defense played at another level. Terry Tidwell, their defensive coordinator, does a great job with their defense and we couldn’t do to much tonight,” Central coach Doug Dotson said. “I thought (STM) was solid on defense. They were big, and we couldn’t handle them. I was proud of the way our kids fought the whole way.”
STM coach Jim Hightower couldn’t find much wrong with his defense.
“I have to be real proud of the way our defense played,” Hightower said. “Offensively, we did enough. I think we are improving there, if we can overcome all the penalties.”
The Cougars led 7-0 at the intermission. STM extended that lead by 17 in the third quarter, enough to seal the victory.
The game clock did not operate throughout the game.
Central finished with 69 passing yards, as junior quarterback Brett Courville completed 12-of-21 passes.
STM’s passing game produced 250 yards, with junior quarterback Brandon Bergeron completing most of the 19 of 29 passing attempts.
Bergeron threw six completions to running back-receiver Matt Flores for 121 yards..
Flores scored on two big plays - a 50-yard throw from Bergeron in the second quarter and a 22-yard run for the game’s final TD with just under two minutes remaining.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Cougars struck quickly for the only score before halftime.
“Flores is a difference-maker for us. He made the big plays at the start and at the end and there were some others in between,” said Hightower.
Flores went over the middle for his touchdown reception from midfield.
About 10 yards after the catch, Flores spun away from a potential tackler and then outraced the remainder of the Central secondary into the end zone.
Central finished the first half with 34 total yards.
Logan Metcalfe’s fumble return to the STM 45 to set up CHS with good field position at the end of the first quarter.
The Wildcats gained only five yards after the turnover.
In the second half, CHS had the ball for only 19 plays.
STM took a 10-0 third-quarter lead on Don Oliver’s 34-yard field goal.
A 9-yard Central punt gave the Cougars field position at the Wildcats 9 later in the period, and on the fourth play of the drive, running back Grant Dozier scored on a 5-yard run.