Tigers' NFL imitation falls short vs. Chicks

Saturday, September 15, 2007
Cape Central's Tyler McNabb fumbled as he was pulled down by Blytheville's Gabriel Osagie during the first quarter of Friday's game at Houck Stadium. Blytheville recovered the ball. (Aaron Eisenhauer)

Chase Johnson tried to mimick his favorite NFL player Friday night.

He hit open receivers.

He didn't turn the ball over.

He even sported a black and orange jersey.

Unfortunately for Johnson and his Cape Central teammates, he couldn't lead his team to victory like Carson Palmer helped the Cincinnati Bengals win last week.

A Blytheville defender tackled Cape Central quarterback Chase Johnson as he attempted to run the ball during the first quarter of their game Friday at Houck Stadium. (Aaron Eisenhauer)

Blytheville, Ark., scored 25 straight points in the second half to earn the 45-6 victory over Central at Houck Stadium.

Johnson helped the Tigers keep the game close in the first half, completing his first four passes.

"I had good protection," Johnson said. "I had a lot of time to go through my reads and hit the routes that were open. I watched the NFL game, I watched my favorite player, Carson Palmer, how he finds the open man. I did the same thing he did and it turned out good for me."

Johnson finished the game 18-of-29 for 157 yards. He had a streak of seven straight completions in the first half.

"They weren't blitzing as much as I thought they would be," he said. "I guess they knew there was a pretty quick quarterback in the backfield. If they blitzed, I was going to break for a long one."

Tyler McNabb was Johnson's favorite target in the game, catching seven passes for 47 yards.

"We saw on game film that they like to play up close to the line, so throughout the game we saw them coming up," McNabb said. "We just found the open man. The corners were playing off a little bit."

working for the Tigers, their rushing attack was stuck in neutral. Central rushed the ball 39 times for 98 yards, an average of 2.5 yards per carry. Johnson continued to try his luck running, but with little success. He ran 17 times for 34 yards, and said it's important to mix the run and pass.

"The more you run, the passing game opens up," he said. "The more the passing game opens up, the more the draws and darts and the sweeps open up and the quarterback sneaks. You can get a lot of yards that way. You can keep the defense guessing."

The game had an ugly start for the Tigers as the Chickasaws returned the kickoff 95 yards for a score. They added another touchdown 5 minutes, 23 seconds later for a 14-0 lead.

"I did not enjoy opening the game with a kickoff return," Central coach Lawrence Brookins said. "I don't think the young man ever had to run full-speed to get from A to B. The middle of our cover team went around their wedge instead of going right throught it."

Blytheville opened a 20-6 lead through one quarter, with Central's lone points coming on McNabb's 36-yard field goal. He added a 37-yarder in the second quarter to send the teams to halftime with the Chickasaws enjoying a 20-6 lead.

Melvin Brooks ran for two touchdowns, Josh Woodruff added one on the ground and Darnell Humphrey returned a punt 50 yards to end Central's hopes for a win.

The Chickasaws' running attack pounded the Central defense all night. Blytheville (3-0) had two players -- Humphrey and Trey Woods -- rush for over 100 yards.

"We didn't stop," said Humphrey, who led his team with 119 yards rushing. "We kept moving the ball on plays we know we have. We kept going, keeping up with the blocks."

Blytheville finished with 385 yards rushing in the game.

"I say this all the time, and I know folks hear me," Brookins said. "I think they say, 'Coach, you must be lying because it sure doesn't look like you guys practice that,' but we work on tackling almost every day. Now you can't beat each other up, but there are drills you can do that don't require you to beat each other up."

The Tigers (0-3) return to action Thursday when they host St. Charles at Houck Stadium. Johnson expects a better showing from his team.

"We have to go hard in practice," he said. "We need to man-up and be more aggressive on the line and on defense and offense, both sides of the ball. We can't go 0-4. I'm tired of losing, point blank."



First Quarter

B -- Jarvis Jones 95 kickoff return (Ervin Torres kick), 11:46.

B -- Josh Woodruff 3 run (Torres kick), 6:23.

C -- Tyler McNabb 36 FG, 1:55.

B -- Melvin Brooks 3 run (kick failed), :54.

Second Quarter

C -- McNabb 37 FG, 6:30.

Third Quarter

B -- Brooks 3 run (run failed) 4:19.

Fourth Quarter

B -- Brooks 1 run (Torres kick), 11:40.

B -- Woodruff 1 run (kick failed), 10:29.

B -- Darnell Humphrey 50 punt return (pass failed), 8:49.

First downs1314
Passing yards0157


RUSHING -- Blytheville, Melvin Brooks 9-28, Darnell Humphrey 7-119, Josh Woodruff 6-48, Jarvis Jones 5-27, Trey Woods 5-100, Fred Martin 4-10, Gabriel Osagie 3-8, Johnathan Smith 1-0, Gerrett Howard 1-9, D.J. Allen 1-4, Ojavian Cullins 1-28, Rakeem Harris 1-4. Central, Chase Johnson 17-34, Derek Walker 13-44, Cantrell Andrews 3-3, Joe Uhls 2-4, Terrance Howard 2-8, Brandon Pickens 1-6, Raymond Woldtvedt 1-(-1).

PASSING -- Blytheville, Gabriel Osagie 0-2-0-0. Central, Chase Johnson 18-29-157-0, Andrew Williams 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING Central, Tyler McNabb 7-47, Joe Uhls 5-17, Derek Walker 3-66, Jonathan Siemers 2-13, Cantrell Andrews 1-6.

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