CENTRAL — Every time Central got within striking distance of Zachary, Broncos quarterback Keilon Brown had an answer.
Brown had so many answers that he rolled up 433 all-purpose yards and accounted for six touchdowns as he led Zachary to a 55-35 win over Central.
With the win, Zachary (7-2, 4-0) maintains at least a share of first place in District 4-5A while Central (7-2, 2-2) saw its hopes for a district championship slip away.
Brown rushed 13 times for 126 yards and three touchdowns. He also completed 16 of 21 passes for 307 yards and three more TDs.
The scores and the yards kept Central from pulling even with Zachary in the second half. After moving ahead 27-14 at halftime, Zachary extended its lead to 20 points three times in the second half. Central responded with a touchdown of its own each time to pull back within two scores.
Trailing 48-35, Central recovered a fumble at the ZHS 42 with 5:34 left to play. The Broncos held the Wildcats on downs, and R.J. Allen’s ensuing 49-yard touchdown run was enough for Zachary to put away Central.
“I’ve been waiting to see that kind of offense from us for a while now,” Zachary coach David Brewerton said. “I think our offensive staff had a great game plan and (Brown) felt really comfortable with it. And, we’ve been waiting for the guys up front to come together and I thought they did tonight.”
Central quarterback Sam Kenerson directed the Wildcats to 300 yards of offense, and nearly every big play they needed in the second half. He completed 5 of 13 passes for 152 yards including a 71-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Rankins.
Although he was sacked six times, Kenerson also proved dangerous scrambling with the ball, and had scoring runs of 13 and 37 yards.
“Where I got excited was when they were up 13 and we got the ball at midfield. I thought it was about to happen,” Central coach Sid Edwards said. “But it was two good football teams playing in Week 9 with something on the line. We had our moments and I couldn’t be more proud of my team.”
The second quarter saw them combine to score 34 points.
Zachary got things started, finishing off an 11-play, 77-yard drive with R.J. Allen’s 3-yard touchdown run to take a 13-0 lead.
Central took the kickoff and went 68 yards in eight plays, all on the ground. Jonathan Swift’s 13-yard run with 6:30 left in the half brought the Wildcats within 13-7.
Zachary came right back with Brown’s 36-yard completion to Jaelon Crear sparking a 71-yard series. Brown’s 2-yard run was the first of three touchdowns in the last 1:50 of the half.
After Brown’s score, Sam Kenerson found Isaiah Rankins on a wheel route down the right sideline. No Bronco defender was within 15 yards of Rankins, and he turned the 15-yard completion into a 71-yard touchdown.
Zachary wasn’t finished. With 1:07 left, the Broncos used 55 seconds to travel 63 yards for their fourth score of the half. Brown rushed twice to cover the final 33 yards, first on a 20-yard scramble and then 13 yards on a quarterback draw for the TD.