Wildcats’ offense gets in act also against Bears
CENTRAL — Central High’s defense gave up 34 points in a Week 3 win over Woodlawn, but the Wildcats defense proved a point Friday night.
Central limited Catholic High to 11 first downs and most of its 280 yards of offense came in the second half as the Wildcats took a 31-23 win over the visiting Bears.
Brett Courville led Central (4-0) with 249 yards passing and one score. Lamontae Juneau ran 12 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns. But it was the Wildcats defense that impressed Central coach Sid Edwards.
“I have to credit our defensive coordinator, Ken Hilton,” Edwards said. “He said he didn’t want the defense to be the weak link anymore. My hat goes off to all of our units, but in particular coach Hilton and his defensive staff.”
Catholic (2-1) had just one first down until late in the first half. The Bears, who trailed 17-7 at the half, rallied with two third-quarter touchdowns, but Central answered each time to maintain its lead.
“We dug ourselves a hole,’ Catholic coach Dale Weiner said. “The defense got us the ball two separate times in the first half, and we gave it right back. I think we only ran 14 plays in the first half, which is ridiculous for a high school offense.”
Catholic pulled to within 17-14 early in the third quarter on Ken Ward’s 35-yard pass from Ben Braymer. Braymer and Nick Coomes combined to complete 12-of-21 passes for 139 yards with one interception.
Following Ward’s score, Central came right back. Taking over at midfield following the kickoff, Juneau burst up the middle for a 53-yard touchdown run.
Catholic had an answer of its own as Khalil Thomas, who led Catholic with 97 yards rushing, took a pitch 41 yards to the Central 29. On the next play, Derrius Guice took a pitch around right end to the end zone cutting the Central lead to 24-21 with more than six minutes left in the third quarter.
This time, Central took the kickoff and went 80 yards in seven plays. Courville carried six times for 22 yards, the last a 1-yard keeper for the touchdown.
“We knew Catholic wasn’t going to lay down,” Edwards said. “They have a tremendous program, and when its all said and done, what a great high school game this was.”
Central dominated most of the first half, and took a 17-0 lead with five minutes left in the second quarter on Courville’s 28-yard scoring toss to Devon Gales.
Thomas bobbled the ensuing kickoff before finding a seam and returning it 95 yards for a touchdown. Jack Gonsulin’s extra point made it 17-7, and Catholic, which had only one first down at that point, was back in the game.
Three plays later Gonsulin was wide left on a 34-yard field goal attempt, and Central took a 10-point lead into the locker room.
Central scored its first touchdown after an exchange of fumbles. Triplett fumbled at the Wildcats 27, but Catholic’s Ken Ward gave it back on the next play after a short pass reception.
Central then went 72 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead. Courville keyed the drive with completions of 14 and 26 yards, as well as a 23-yard run. Lamontae Juneau capped the drive with a 7-yard run.
Central added to the lead in the second quarter when it finished off a 42-yard drive that began late in the first quarter. Greg Noel’s 33-yard field goal made it 10-0.
On its next series, Central went 57 yards in six plays for another touchdown. Courville pump-faked a short throw, and found a wide-open Gales on the right side for the 28-yard score.