Central High School gave up an 81-yard kickoff return and a 57-yard scoring run within the first four minutes before turning it on to beat Evansville Reitz 47-27 on Saturday in matchup of highly ranked team in the Bluegrass High School Football Showcase at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
This is the second year of the event, which is composed of three Kentucky teams and five from out of the state. Trinity Christian (Fla.) defeated Goodpasture Christian (Tenn.) 46-3 in the second game of the day. St. Xavier played Dutch Fork (S.C.) in the finale.
Central (2-0), the two-time defending Class 3-A champion, piled up 446 yards and limited Reitz, ranked No. 2 in Indiana’s Class 4-A, to just 175 yards and only 118 after the Panthers’ first possession.
The score was tied at 14 after one quarter, but Central took control from there.
Running back Deris Cox paced Central with 216 yards on 25 carries, and quarterback Taeshawn Gibbs added 102 yards on 18 carries.
“We just settled down and started to play some defense,” said Central coach Ty Scroggins, whose team opened the daylong event at 11 a.m. “We know we can play defense. We didn’t push the panic button.”
Ke’Andre Vaughn, who scored the first two TDs by Reitz (1-1), added a 36-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter and finished with 161 yards on 18 carries.
After opening with wins over Manual and Reitz, Scroggins said this could be his best Central team.
“This is a complete team,” he said. “We don’t have a star on this team. Our kids believe in our system.”
* Riverdale (Tenn.) 47, Ballard 7: The Bruins (1-1) likely can’t stomach much more of the Bluegrass High School Football Showcase.
In two years, they’ve been outscored 115-7. A year ago, Ballard lost to Byrnes (S.C.) 68-0.
On Saturday, the Warriors (2-0) — Class 6-A semifinalists a year ago — had little trouble moving the ball, scoring on its first seven possessions.
Riverdale, from Murfreesboro, led 34-0 and extended its lead to 47-0 midway through the third quarter. On two occasions, the Warriors needed just one play to score.
Riverdale amassed 505 yards compared to Ballard’s 152.
Mariko Odom led the Warriors with 148 yards on just seven carries and scored on a 39-yard run in the third quarter. He also caught four passes for 104 yards.
Ballard finally scored with 1:26 left to play on a 14-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Owen to Cam Lewis.