Homecoming victory for Central
The Central Warriors celebrated Homecoming Friday with a decisive 86-44 victory against Rockford.
In first quarter action, Central’s Nathan Fitzgerald scored on a 3-yard run. The point after touchdown run failed. Fitzgerald scored again on a 15-yard run, putting the score at 12-0 after another failed point after touchdown run.
The second quarter was give and take with Devon Frank starting the scoring with a 22-yard pass interception. A pass from Derek Ehrhardt to Ben Backes put two more on the board for Central. Rockford then scored on a 19-yard pass with the extra-point pass failing. Fitzgerald put the ball in on a 39-yard run, followed by another Central touchdown when Patrick Tajaran scored on a 17-yard run. Fitzgerald made the point after touchdown run, putting the score at 34-6.
Ehrhardt continued Central’s scoring when he hit Shawn Fults for a 55-yard touchdown pass. Rockford came back with a 6-yard touchdown run followed by a good 2-point pass. Central’s Drew Reinhardt returned the favor with a 40-yard kick-off return for a touchdown. Fitzgerald made the good point after touchdown run. The quarter ended with a 4-yard touchdown run by Rockford, followed by a good two-point run, which put the score at 48-22.
Fitzgerald started off the third quarter with a 4-yard touchdown run, followed by a good point after touchdown run. Rockford then scored on a 44-yard pass with a good 2-point run. Fitzgerald followed with a 33-yard touchdown run. Rockford scored again on a 3-yard run, putting the score at 62-36. With time running down in the quarter, Fitzgerald scored on a 5-yard touchdown run and then made a good 2-point run. Rockford scored the final points of the quarter on a 52-yard touchdown pass, followed by a good point after touchdown run.
The fourth quarter was all Fitzgerald, who scored on a 9-yard touchdown run and a 1-yard run. He also made both point after touchdown runs, giving Central the 86-44 victory.
“It was great team victory,” Coach Tom Wilwert said. “We scored points on special teams, and our defense forced three turnovers and scored a touchdown.”
“Offensively, our offensive line (Justin Cummer, Kennie Orr, Blake Rodenberg, Ben Tschirgi) dominated the front all night, giving our running backs spaces to run,” he added. “We had many players contribute to the running game. Nathan Fitzgerald had an explosive game, turning the holes created by the O-line into big plays. Derek Ehrhardt continues to play well at QB, finding Shawn Fults and the other receivers at key times for big plays.”
Ehrhardt was 5-8 in the air for 87 yards. Neil Kelly caught one for three yards and Shawn Fults pulled down four for 84 yards.
Fitzgerald was the team workhorse on the ground, carrying the ball 35 times for 330 yards. Kelly rushed eight times for 43 yards and Tajaran ran four times for 35 yards. Aaron Hoth had the ball seven times for 39 yards, while Devon Frank rushed six times for 27 yards. Ehrhardt ran twice for 17 yards and Reinhardt had two carries for 15 yards. Ted Hilgerson had three carries for three yards, and Dakota Casper ran once for a yard.
Central travels to West Central (Maynard) in a key district match-up this Friday.
By Pat McTaggart, Freelance Writer