Grant Hengst scored two goals and assisted on two others to help Central's boys soccer team push its record to 20-0 on Saturday with a 6-0 rout of Fox at Central High School.
Central had some trouble putting the ball away early on, but it did not take long for the Tigers potent offense to get rolling. Less than 15 minutes into the first half Calen Wills put the Tigers on the board.
Wills' goal was one set up by a nice give-and-go play from Heath Orr to Hengst. Orr flicked a pass from the midfield to a charging Hengst, who found Wills wide open in the middle of the goalbox. Fox's goaltender got a piece of the shot but not enough to stop it from crossing the goal line.
About 10 minutes later Orr, the Tigers' leading scorer, made a couple of deft moves through the defense and put the ball through the keepers' legs for a 2-0 lead.
Up 2-0, Central cleared the bench and the substitutes quickly asserted themselves. Reserve midfielder Aaron Hutsell set up starter Bryan Ross for the Tigers' third goal of the half.
Despite the Tigers' three goals, Central coach Tom Doyle said his team could have had more in the first half.
"We had a lot of opportunities in the first half that we didn't score," he said.
The second half belonged to Hengst, who scored a pair of goals and assisted on another within the first 20 minutes of the half. Hengst's first goal came on a pass from Ross just minutes into the half.
Doyle said it was important to keep up the offensive intensity against a struggling team like Fox.
"We knew they weren't real good, but those teams are the ones that can sneak up on you," he said.
Minutes after Hengst scored, Orr netted his second goal of the game on a chip from Hengst. Hengst scored from about 20 yards out to finish the scoring.
The Tigers now have only two games standing in their way of a perfect regular season. Central travels to district foe Farmington on Monday and heads to the Soccer Park in Fenton to face Jefferson City on Thursday.
Central's JV team improved to 14-2-2 with a 4-0 win over Fox. Lance Altenthal (2), Sam Bornstein and Jackson Hill scored for the Tigers. Justin Meyer, Bornstein and Scott Fronkohl had assists. -- Jeremy Joffray
Class 4, District 1 Meet
Central junior Jennifer Pancoast cut 22 seconds from her district-winning time from last year to win her second straight Class 4, District 1 meet at Jackson City Park.
Pancoast finished in 19:03 and was followed by teammates Linnea Woldtvedt and Holly Shaffer, who finished third and fourth, respectively. Woldtvedt's time of 19:55 was her first sub-20 minute run.
Cassie Kipper (12th) and Hannah Lewis (27th) rounded out Central's district-winning girls team. Jackson finished third to join Central's girls at the sectional meet next Saturday at Jefferson Barracks. Lindbergh and Fox also qualified on the girls' side.
Jackson's top five were Rachel Schmidt (6th), Ashley Meyr (9th), Rachel Lowes (11th), Chelsea Brown (28th) and Ashley Miller (29th).
Central's boys team finished third and qualified six individuals. Corey Huskey (4th) and John Kipper (6th) were Central's top performers. Alex Schneider (18th), Daniel Austin (24th), Corey Main (28th) and Bryan Schott (30th) also qualified for Central.
After finishing behind Poplar Bluff in the SEMO Conference meet last week, the Tigers beat out the Mules on Saturday. Poplar Bluff finished fifth, just missing a sectional birth. Fox won the district, with Lindbergh second and Northwest fourth.
Central coach Mark Hahn said a return trip to state for the girls team will be tough to achieve.
"Sectionals is hard to predict," he said. "Our girls sectional is probably the toughest in the state."
Jackson finished seventh in the team standings and had one sectional qualifier in David Welker (25th).
-- From staff reports