Fighting to keep playoff hopes alive, the Central High Bronchos blew out the Sasakwa Vikings 62-12 Thursday night.
“It was a good game on both sides of the ball,” Central High head coach Colin Watkins said. “We had a really good game on offense with Ashton (Wright) having another big game, and Kade (Taylor) and Tyler (Lyles) both threw the ball well.”
The Central High defense, led by senior Tyler Matthesen, held the Vikings to -11 yards on the ground. Vikings quarterback Ashton Taylor completed 3-of-8 passes for 111 yards. Ashton Taylor completed one pass to Michael Coon for 48 yards and the Vikings first touchdown, and another to Forrest Henry for a 49-yard touchdown.
“I think we did well as a whole team,” Matthesen said. “We gave up two big plays in the game, but other than those I think the defense did really well tonight.”
Wright had another big game for the Bronchos, scoring four of Central High’s eight touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown in the start of the third quarter.
“I think we did a really good job,” Wright said. “Our line did a really good job blocking (Thursday night). I wouldn’t be able to get that many yards on a carry if I didn’t have them there to block for me.”
Central High started the game on a high note as Jeremy Russell intercepted an Ashton Taylor pass, giving the ball to the Bronchos. Wright took the ball on the opening play for a 15-yard run into the end zone.
Junior quarterback Lyles kept the pressure on the Vikings as he connected with Russell on a 28-yard pass to the end zone for the Broncho’s second touchdown.
Wright found paydirt on Central High’s following two drives, scoring on 4-yard and 38-yard runs.
On the Vikings ensuing drive, Coon was stripped by Matthesen on the Sasakwa 1-yard line, giving the ball back to the Bronchos. Craig Bernard punched the ball in to give the Bronchos a commanding 40-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Ashton Taylor dropped back and threw the ball to wide open Central High defensive player Kade Taylor.
After two costly penalties by the Bronchos, Central High faced a first-and-25. The long yardage did not phase the Bronchos, though, as Kade Taylor found freshman receiver John Repp with a 50-yard pass and catch. Bernard finished the drive with a score and the 2-point conversion, giving the Bronchos a 48-0 lead.
Sasakwa kept its head up as Ashton Taylor found Coon on the sideline for his first completion of the game. Coon and Ashton Taylor hookd up once more on the Viking drive on a 48-yard deep pass into the end zone for their first score of the night.
With just under a minute to go in the game, both teams traded touchdowns as Repp scored on a 16-yard pitch to the outside and Henry scored on a 49-yard pass from Ashton Taylor to give the Bronchos the 56-12 lead heading into the locker room.
Coming out of the half, the Bronchos decided to finish the game early as Wright found open field with a 44-yard run on the first play of the half to give the Bronchos the victory.
Wright finished the game with six carries for 139 yards. Bernard and Justin Harper led the team in tackles with five with Harper picking up a sack.
Central High will look to keep the momentum on its side as it travels to Davenport to take on the 6-1 Bulldogs.
“This was a great team win for us [Thursday night],” Watkins said. “We played well on both sides of the ball and we needed a huge win like this to get the momentum on our side heading into Davenport next week.
Check Sunday's edition of The Banner for a box score from this game.
— Matt Tillson is a reporter for the Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354 Ext. 143 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.