Central overwhelms Everett
EVERETT – Everett coach Mark Kirk and his Warrior squad knew what they were up against facing Central on senior night.
The Scarlet Dragons have a reputation of having a very high-powered offense as they have averaged 53 points a game during their three-game winning streak since a loss to Fort Hill, Md., on Oct. 4.
In that same span, the defense has stepped up its game as well by surrendering just 11.3 points a game.
Friday night at Everett Warrior Stadium proved to be more of the same as the Dragons jumped all over the Warriors early and cruised to a 42-0 victory.
“We wanted to work on things and we wanted to play hard,” Central coach Dave Baker said. “We wanted to have different guys do different things. We wanted to play consistently, win the game and hopefully get ourselves ready for the playoffs. I think we did that.”
Central (8-2) scored on five of six possessions in the first half en route to a 35-0 halftime edge. The lone drive it failed to score on ended when backup quarterback Noah Benton was intercepted by Tyler Mitchell right before the break.
“We have some discipline issues. Until we fix those, we’re not going to be playing at the level that we need to play,” Everett coach Mark Kirk said. “You got to be able to practice, you got to be able to watch film, you got to lift weights, you got to condition. All those things turn into 48 minutes on Friday. We need to be able to do that, and right now we’re not doing it.”
Following an Everett punt on the game’s opening drive, Central gave the Warriors (4-6) a heavy dose of Bradi Moore as the senior churned out 41 yards on four rushes – the last of which was a 3-yard tote that saw him reach the end zone.
Moore set up the Scarlet Dragons next score when he returned a Jared Donelson punt 34 yards to Everett 22. Four plays later, he crossed the goal line again from 1 yard out.
Central junior Nick Hoenstine picked off QB Trevor Bulger to end the Warriors next drive. Dragon signal caller Austin Cunningham raced 16 yards on first down, then Zac Emerick rumbled 17 yards before Cunningham connected with Zach Slagenweit on a 34-yard touchdown just 26 seconds into the second quarter.
“When we go into any game, we always play as one team,” Central senior Zac Emerick said. “Every play is 150 percent – that’s what we do at practice. We go hard every single play at practice and we make each other work.”
Everett halfback Cameron Steed coughed up the ball on a first down play, then watched as Austin Conrath bulled his way in four plays later from 4 yards out to increase the lead to 28-0 at the 8:52 mark.
The Scarlet Dragons defense would force another Warrior punt, then turned things over to their offense again which delivered on a five-play, 78-yard drive capped off by a 16-yard TD strike from Cunningham to Adam Frederick. The 35-point advantage meant the mercy rule running clock would be in effect the entire second half.
“Our [defensive] linemen kept them contained, then all the linebackers and defensive backs came up and filled in right where the running back is,” Emerick said. “We just gang-tackled everybody.”
Central needed just 3 minutes into the second half to get back on the scoreboard as Emerick found his way in for a touchdown from 1 yard out. Slagenweit tacked on his sixth extra point of the night to set the final.
“It’s good to have [different weapons on offense] because if they shut down one guy, then there’s somebody else you can go to,” Baker said. “You don’t have to give it to the same guy all the time. You have other guys you can give the ball to.”
Cunningham was 8-for-11 for 155 yards passing in addition to 58 on the ground, while Moore racked up 63 rushing yards and also hauled in two passes for 53 yards.
Jacob Jay was the Warriors’ leading rusher with 55 yards on seven tries.
“Unless you can get people off the line of scrimmage and maintain, you’re not going to be able to do anything,” Kirk said. “We haven’t been able to get off the ball like we need to.”
The Warriors were limited to just 131 yards rushing – though 40 came on one play late in the game with Central’s first string on the sidelines.
“I thought we strung them out well [when they tried to run],” Baker said. “We came up on the outside and made good tackles and kept them from turning up. We pushed them to the sidelines.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Central 14 21 7 0 – 42
Everett 0 0 0 0 – 0
C-Moore 3 run (Slagenweit kick), 7:09.
C-Moore 1 run (Slagenweit kick), 2:58.
C-Slagenweit 34 pass from Cunningham (Slagenweit kick), 11:34.
C-Conrath 4 run (Slagenweit kick), 8:52.
C-Frederick 16 pass from Cunningham (Slagenweit kick), 3:01.
C-Emerick 1 run (Slagenweit kick), 9:00.
RUSHING: Central-Cunningham 7-58, Moore 7-63, Conrath 5-40, Emerick 3-30, Forshey 1-11, Benton4-8, Helsel 1-15, Berkheimer 0-6, Shirey 5-1. Everett-Karns 5-(-10), Steed 15-47, Bulger 3-18, Ward 5-15, Jay 7-55, Sheaffer 1-4, Hess 1-3, TEAM 1-(-1).
PASSING: Central-Cunningham 8-11-0-155, Benton 1-6-1-10. Everett-Bulger 2-4-1-20, Ward 1-1-0-10.
RECEIVING: Central-Emerick 1-16, Frederick 2-34, Slagenweit 3-52, Forshey 1-10, Moore 2-53. –Steed 1-9, Jay 2-21.
INTERCEPTIONS: Central-Hoenstine. Everett-Mitchell.
First downs 1810
Rushes-yards 33-232 38-131
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 9-17-1 3-5-1
Yards passing 165 30
Total yards 397 161
Fumbles-lost 1-0 4-2