Eureka pummels Central from start

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Despite a good second-half performance, Central saw its playoff hopes disappear with its loss to Eureka on Friday night.

The third play from scrimmage was telling of the kind of night it would be for the Tigers. Quarterback Andrew Williams threw a swing pass that ricocheted off an unsuspecting Cantrell Andrews' helmet and into the arms of a Eureka defender for an interception.

Two plays later, Eureka led 7-0.

The Wildcats cruised from there, earning the 49-14 victory in their Class 5 District 1 contest. Eureka improved to 2-0 in district play, while Central dropped to 0-2.

The Wildcats pushed the lead to 42-0 at halftime.

Eureka receiver Antonio Evans was a one-man scoring machine in the first half, scoring three touchdowns on the ground and another one receiving.

"We faced a strong team tonight. ... I think they'll go real deep in the playoffs," Central coach Rich Payne said.

Central outscored Eureka 14-7 in the second half, with Williams tossing a pair of touchdowns to senior Drew Gardner.

The first one was a 12-yarder with 1:11 left in the third quarter.

A big block from halfback Brandon Pickens sprung Gardner for his second score, a 52-yarder.

"It felt great to get in the end zone," Gardner said. "Pickens held his block, just like coach has been telling him."

Central plays rival Jackson next week on the road and Payne isn't conceding anything.

"It's going to be a real tough game for us," Payne said. "They've got a lot of upperclassmen and we've got a lot of young guys. But I've been involved in too many Cape-Jackson games, and anything can happen."

Gardner added: "A lot of people are underestimating us, but we're going to come out and play with some fire."

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