BRUSLY — Central’s high-powered offense was too much for Brusly on Friday night and the Wildcats dominated in a 44-19 nondistrict win.
Central quarterback Sam Kenerson completed 13 of 21 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns, while running backs Jonathan Swift and Isiah Rankins combined for 155 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
“At halftime, we decided that we needed to get our running game going,” Central coach Sid Edwards said. “Those three guys led the charge. I thought our offensive line did a great job. I have to credit them with how well they played.”
Brusly (3-4) started the game with an onside kick, but Central (4-3) recovered at its own 47-yard line to begin its offensive drive.
The Wildcats offense came out on fire, while Brusly went three-and-out on its first two drives.
Central’s first drive was only four plays, but went for 53 yards. The drive started with a 17-yard pass from Kenerson to receiver Parker Evans, followed by two runs of 3 and 16 yards by receiver Le’Derrick Thomas and running back Isiah Rankins.
Thomas capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run to put Central up 6-0 with 10:22 left in the first quarter.
Central continued to add to its lead into the second quarter. A 20-yard pass from Kenerson to receiver Destin Franklin put the Wildcats in Brusly territory.
A series of runs for 39 yards total put Central inside the 10-yard line, leaving room for running back Jonathan Swift to bust out a 2-yard touchdown run up the middle. Kenerson then hit Evans for the 2-point conversion to put the Wildcats up 14-0 with 11:19 left before halftime.
Brusly put up a fight in the second quarter, scoring all 19 of its points. It got on the board two plays into its first drive of the second quarter. A 60-yard touchdown run by running back Tre’von Snearl left the Panthers trailing 14-7 with 10:10 left until halftime.
Central responded to the Brusly touchdown quickly, as Kenerson avoided getting sacked in the red zone and hit Evans for a 20-yard touchdown pass in the back corner of the end zone, giving the Wildcats a 21-7 lead with 7:14 left in the half.
Brusly gained its first, first down on its next drive on a 24-yard run by Keandre Bynum, leading quarterback Nick Penell to a 25-yard touchdown run to bring the Panthers within a touchdown at 21-13.
Brusly had the chance to tie the game on another Penell run, but failed to complete the 2-point conversion, leaving the score at 21-19 going into halftime.
“Our kids came out and did exactly what we asked them to do,” Brusly coach Hoff Schooler said. “They came out and they played tough and physical and played as hard as they could play. Hats off to Central, they had a good night. They had a couple plays that we need to respond to and could find a way to. We’ll be a better football team because of that.”
Central came out in the second half just as it started the first one.
Running back Isiah Rankins broke out for a 15-yard touchdown run after a holding penalty negated his touchdown on the previous play to start the game. Central lead 28-19 with 5:23 left in the third quarter.
Central started its next drive at the Brusly 25-yard line because of a holding penalty on a short punt.
The Wildcats only needed three plays to score, including a 24-yard run by Rankins and a 1-yard touchdown run by Swift to put Central up 35-19 with 11 minutes left in the game
Central continued to add to its lead as Brusly’s defense became fatigued. The Wildcats started the drive with a 50-yard pass from Kenerson to Franklin and concluded it with a 4-yard run by Swift around the left side, giving Central a 42-19 lead wit 7:50 left in the game.
Brusly punter Nathan Landry fumbled the snap in the end zone and kicked it out the back of the end zone, giving Central a safety and a 44-19 lead and sealing the game with 5:54 remaining.
“(Brusly) is really well coached and they have a good team,” Edwards said. “I knew coming in that I felt it would be a dog fight. I think at halftime, we made some adjustments. I felt we weren’t playing with the central spirit that we usually play with and I think we came out in the second half and play with a little bit more spunk and got after them a little more.”