Brad Seiss picked Tim Barrett’s interception as a play that helped lead Central to a 33-13 victory over New Castle Saturday. The Central running back/defensive back gave his coach several big plays from which to choose.
Barrett also had a 72-yard run that helped start the Bearcat offense, and he followed it up with the first of his three touchdown runs. The senior had a receiving touchdown on the last play of the first half that pushed the Central lead to two touchdowns. It was a lead the Bearcats had little trouble holding.
“He’s a guy that makes a lot of big plays for us, the interception he made in the second quarter was huge,” Seiss said. “And we took that momentum and he sparks us with big catches, with big runs. But it’s not just him.”
Barrett finished the game Saturday with 182 rushing yards. The two teams began the game Friday, but it was called due to inclement weather with 9:29 remaining in first quarter.
Central (1-3) struggled early Saturday and fell behind 7-0 to the Trojans by the end of the first quarter. Barrett returned his interception to the New Castle (0-4) 4-yard line, but it only indirectly led to a touchdown.
The Bearcats turned the ball over on downs on their ensuing drive. Bearcat defensive tackle Darrius Connell then recovered a fumble on New Castle’s first play from scrimmage to give Central its first touchdown.
“We really got fired up,” Barrett said. “How we started, they were getting one or two first downs before we actually got a stop. So with someone causing that fumble and then hopping on it, it gave us a lot of momentum. To get up, to wake up.”
Connell’s fumble recovery touchdown began a frenetic 6:28 that produced a combined 33 points between the two teams. It included Barrett leading a two-play, 82-yard drive and a 79-yard touchdown run by the Trojans’ Tanner Engel.
Central also had a touchdown drive that lasted over the final 1:07 of the first half. Barrett had a touchdown catch on the last play of the half to push the lead to 27-13. He finished with three catches for 36 yards and was the Bearcats’ leading receiver for the day.
The Bearcats chewed about six minutes off the clock on the first drive of the second half before scoring their final touchdown. Their defense then prevented any further New Castle scoring to seal the 20-point win.
Seiss is in his first year as head coach of the Bearcats, and the win is the first of his head-coaching career.
“We didn’t play well, but I think we showed good fight and resolve,” Seiss said. “Because for our first quarter, we were kind of flat and they kind of took it to us. But Tim Barrett made a big play for us on that interception and we took that momentum and played pretty well for the last three quarters.”
New Castle had a promising start, leading long drives and controlling field position. Trojan quarterback Caleb Smith connected with Kevon Wade-Janson on a 36-yard pass for the game’s first score. But first-year New Castle coach Mark Luzadder said his squad struggled once Central made some big plays.
“When one thing goes wrong, we drop our heads and fall apart,” Luzadder said. “We can’t just move past the next play and keep rolling. Instead we forget about all the good and focus on that one bad. And when you do that, bad things are going to follow.”
Wade-Janson was the Trojans’ leading receiver, with 38 yards through the air. He also ran the ball for 86 yards on 14 carries. Markus Meredith was the Trojans’ leading rusher, gaining 97 yards on the ground. Smith passed the ball for 76 yards.
Billy Walker completed nine passes for 71 yards for Central. Timmric Barrett was the Bearcats’ second-leading rusher and receiver Saturday. He had two rushes for 25 yards and two catches for 19 yards.