The Duncan Banner
CENTRAL HIGH —
Accounting for 214 yards and scoring five touchdowns Friday night, Kevin Harris again proved he’s got the lead role in Central High’s football drama.
But in a 68-20 victory over Waurika, the rest of the Bronchos proved they aren’t just a bunch of “bit players.”
John Repp scored in all three phases of the game — offense, defense and kicking — while Kade Taylor threw for a pair of touchdowns and Michael Mays added two scores, as Central High locked up a spot in the Class B playoffs, before a good-sized, chilly crowd at Bronchos Stadium.
Rising to 7-2 overall and 6-2 in District B-2, the Broncs need a victory over Cyril in Week 10 to ice third place in the league and can finish no lower than fourth. Allen, which defeated Paoli, 62-14, in Week 9, is also 6-2 in the league. If CHHS and AHS win their regular-season finales, the Broncos finish third via an earlier victory over Allen.
If Allen should defeat sixth-ranked Fox in Week 10 and Central High loses to Cyril, the Bronchos end up fourth.
All-state and all-star candidate Harris was obviously in the Broncs’ last home game, as has been the case for three seasons. He needed only 10 carries in amassing 166 yards and four touchdowns, and caught a 48-yard scoring pass.
However, the Broncs also got a fine all-around game from senior Repp, who scored on a 34-yard pass, a 39-yard run, a 29-yard return of an interception and six-of-eight extra-point kicks.
Senior quarterback Taylor completed five of seven passes for 126 yards, while sophomore Mays gave a glimpse of CHHS’ future when he scampered 45 yards for the touchdown that ended the game by the 45-point rule, with 28 seconds left in the fourth period.
“Central is a solid team, with a lot of seniors and upperclassmen who’ve played together a long time. Kevin may be ‘the show’, which he was, but they have a lot of good players,” Waurika coach Glenn Howard said, after the Eagles dipped to 1-8 overall and 1-7 in B-2.
The Eagles were feisty and quarterbacks Zac Jenkins and Blaine Shockley, who returned to action after a two-week suspension for fighting, combined to go 14-for-30 passing for 173 yards. Standout receiver Garrett Bachand had five receptions for 90 yards, topping the 1,000-yard mark for the season, and WHS rushed for 153 yards, it’s second-best team total of the season.
“Give Waurika credit, they played hard the whole game and didn’t roll over,” Central High skipper Keith Burton said. “We were able to do what we intended to do, though. We had things we were able to work on and we got the younger kids a chance to play.
“I thought we came out and played hard at the start, which we wanted to do. We knew Waurika had improved over the season, but I was happy to see our guys came to play.
“John Repp has played like that all year on both sides of the ball, and Cade did a good job managing the game. Everybody talks about Kevin, but we have others who can play.”
The Bronchos burst out quickly, taking a 13-0 lead in the first quarter on Taylor’s TD pass to Harris and the senior tailback’s 39 yard run.
Then the pivotal moment of the game came early in the second quarter, which opened with the Eagles in the midst of their first sustained drive of the game. Facing third-and-14 at the WHS 30. Jenkins found tailback Danny Ralls open in the middle of the field and the senior dashed inside the CHHS 10.
But Repp came from behind and punched the ball out of Ralls arms and the loose ball squirted into the end zone. Repp came up with a recovery and attempted to run the ball out of the end zone. He was penalized, giving CHHS possession at its own five-yard line.
With 11:27 remaining in the quarter, Taylor fumbled a snap and Waurika defensive tackle Noah Gomez recovered at the CHHS 2. It was the Eagles’ first scoring opportunity, but things withered quickly.
Shockley lost two yards on a scramble and on second down threw an incompletion to the back of the end zone. Ralls picked up two yards to set up fourth-and-goal at the CHHS 2, but Bachand fumbled on an end around and Broncs’ defensive back Austen Dewitt recovered at the CHHS 13.
That opened the flood gates to a Central High offensive surge. Before halftime, Harris scored on a 29-yard run, Taylor hit Repp for a TD and Repp came through with an interception for a TD that jacked the margin to 36-0.
The Eagles put together a seven-play scoring drive capped on a four-yard run by Jenkins, but the Bronchos replied with TD runs by Harris and Mays to hold a 48-6 lead at the intermission.
“I think it hurt our confidence on offense when we didn’t get in on the short-field situation at the start of the second quarter, and the fumbles shook us up a little bit,” Howard noted.
In the second half, Burton gave his offensive backups most of the playing time, but he kept several defensive starters on the field and turned back to his offensive starters when Waurika scored twice.
The Eagles got a 15-yard scoring run from Shockley with 3:45 left in the third stanza, which cut the gap to 48-13, but Central High retaliated with a 30-yard scoring run by Harris.
Less than 90 seconds into the fourth period, Jenkins tossed a seven-yard scoring pass to Jenkins that trimmed the margin to 55-20. But Repp followed with his 39-yard touchdown run and Mays capped the 68-20 win with his 45-yard scoring dash.