DENHAM SPRINGS — Central built a big lead and almost got too comfortable before holding on for a 30-22 win over Denham Springs in the District 4-5A opener for the two schools.
Denham Springs (0-4) trailed 30-7 after three quarters, but got a lift from senior quarterback John McDaniel, who came off the bench to direct two touchdown drives.
Central (4-0) recovered an onside kick with 2:39 left to play, and ran out the clock.
Pierce Patterson led the Wildcats rushing attack with 181 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries. Quarterback Jonathan Swift ran for a touchdown and threw for another.
Cam Kelly topped the Yellow Jackets with 86 yards rushing and a touchdown.
The teams were sidelined for nearly two hours by a weather delay that began just before halftime.
How it was won
The Central offense grinded out 22 first downs. The Wildcats converted 10 of 15 third downs, a number that included a stretch of six straight conversions during an 85-yard, seven-minute touchdown drive to close out the first half.
Player of the game
Da’Veon Armstead, Central
Armstead intercepted Denham Springs quarterback Reese Mooney early in the third quarter, and returned the pickoff 55 yards for a touchdown. The play gave Central a 21-7 lead, and helped the Wildcats build a 23-point cushion entering the fourth quarter.
They said it
Sid Edwards, Central coach: “A two-hour delay is very tough, but I didn’t stress. I just let (the team) go in the locker room and shoot the breeze. In my younger days I would stress out about it, but I just let them be kids and enjoy it. As a matter of fact, I almost went to Sonic and got some fries.”
Brett Beard, Denham Springs coach: “I’m a believer right now in getting these kids to play hard for 48 minutes any way we can. If we’re numb to losing then it will make us lose, and we’re not OK with that. … The defense came up with some timely stops and we had a chance at an onside kick. The ship is turning here at Denham Springs. We’ve just got to get it on course.
- The game was delayed for 1 hour, 51 minutes with 40 seconds left in the first half because of lightning. Play resumed with Central facing a second-and-goal at the DSHS 2. Swift scored on a 1-yard run with 27 seconds left. The teams did not take a break between the second and third quarters.
- Sophomore Reese Mooney started at quarterback for Denham Springs, and completed 8 of 16 passes for 47 yards. He was lifted for McDaniel in the third quarter after being sacked in the end zone for a safety. Seeing his first action since being injured in a loss two weeks ago at Assumption, McDaniel was 4 of 10 for 44 yards with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Myles Edwards.
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