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CENTRAL HIGH —
On every Central High football player’s locker is a white sheet of paper that carries the message “Beat Fox.”
For the Bronchos (6-0, 5-0) this week, it is that simple. The two leaders for the district will clash just a few feet away from that locker room on Thursday. It is clear that this is the game against the Foxes (5-1, 4-1) is what all the players have been waiting for.
“I’m real pumped up,” senior running back Kevin Harris said. “We haven’t beat Fox in who knows when and this is the best time. This is the best opportunity.”
Harris, Central High’s most explosive player, said the game is, “more important than most people would know” to this year’s senior class. The players in that class are some of the most influential to the teams progress.
Senior offensive lineman Dylan Waller, leads one of the best blocking units in the district and coach Keith Burton has noticed his leadership every week.
“Dylan is a guy who has paid the price, stuck with the program and worked hard,” Burton said. “He has stepped into that leadership role for offensive line this year for us.”
The home crowd adds to the intensity that seniors like Harris and Waller will have when they enter the field. To host this game with so many graduating players is a unique opportunity, according to Burton.
“This is a big game and we’re going to get to play it in front of our hme crowd,” Burton said. “We’re doubly excited about that.”
The crowd noise might also help a defense that so far has been impregnable, to stay that way. You can hear the excitement in the voices as the players prepared for practice. After collecting three shutouts in the last four games, the defense’s only goal is to keep them out of the end zone.
“We know Fox poses people a lot of problems,” Burton said. “You can’t let them get to the edge. If you do, they are going to make you pay the price. Our guys are confident in themselves.”
Chasing Fox senior quarterback Taylor Townsend down will be the main focus for the Bronchos defense. The Fox offense feeds off him and the explosive output — Fox averages more than 53 pointer per game this season — has been awe-inspiring so far.
“If you stop him from running, then he’s going to hurt you throwing,” Burton said. “In our district he’s definitely the top one as far as being a dual-threat. He’s a good one to have on your side.”