Central puts big chill on Sumner in homecoming win

Friday, October 18, 2002

For a group of guys so hot in one half, they got awfully cold in the second.

The group was the Central football team starters, who turned themselves into shivering spectators Thursday after a first-half annihilation of Sumner at Houck Stadium.

Central, which resurfaced at No. 9 in the state Class 4 rankings this week, played the part with a 43-16 homecoming victory.

The Tigers were left with a 6-1 record and chattering teeth afterwards.

"It got a little cold," said shivering Central quarterback Mitch Craft, who threw for two first-half touchdowns.

It was quite a contrast from the first half when a red-hot Tiger team burned Sumner time after time. Any concerns about the Tigers coming in flat after a 34-7 rout of rival Jackson last Friday were unfounded.

"We had to come out after a big win last week and show we could perform," said Central linebacker Jeremiah Dukes, who led the Tigers in the chattering teeth department.

"We just wanted to make sure we didn't slack off in this game," said Central receiver Seth Hudson, who capped a 41-0 first half with a 28-yard touchdown reception. "We wanted to keep the momentum going. We stuck with that and the momentum is even greater now and we're just going to put it to use next week against Sikeston."

The Tigers, in their final preparation before beginning defense of their district crown, wasted little time in turning the game into a rout. Central built a 27-0 lead by the end of the first quarter as it rolled to 170 yards of offense in the period. By contrast, Sumner mustered just nine yards of offense and committed turnovers on two of its four possessions.

"We just came in totally focused and stuck to our game plan," Hudson said.

Sumner (1-6) went three-and-out on the opening series of the game and Central quickly commenced the rout with a 65-yard scoring drive. Dukes sprinted up the middle untouched on a draw from 17 yards out to cap the seven-play drive. Colin Schermann tacked on the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 6:51 left in the quarter.

Monroe Hicks iced the game with a personal scoring spree. In a span of less than six minutes, Hicks, who came into the game with a team-high 11 touchdowns, scored four touchdowns. The first came on an 8-yard run at the 3:17 mark of the first quarter. He followed with a 28-yard touchdown pass, a 24-yard scoring run and a 7-yard touchdown pass, the latter with 10:46 left in the second quarter for a 34-0 Tiger lead.

"I'm just happy we came out with another win and everyone came out uninjured," said Hicks, who finished with a game-high 88 yards rushing on 14 carries. "We feel real good being 6-1. We came out and played our game and executed."

After their only punt of the first half, Central concluded the scoring on Hudson's touchdown pass with two minutes left in the half.

The Tigers rolled up 255 yards of offense in the half while keeping the Bulldog offense on a leash that never reached midfield. Sumner mounted just 27 yards of offense in the half while committing four turnovers.

The Tiger offense then literally went into the deep freeze as backups played the entire half.

Sumner quarterback Dwayne Ray threw a pair of touchdowns in the second half. Central finished its scoring when it was credited with a safety when a Sumner punt snap sailed out of the end zone.

Central coach Lawrence Brookins was happy with the win despite his starters sitting the entire second half.

"Our confidence is at a good level right now and that can do nothing but help you," Brookins said.

jbreer@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 124

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