Seven days had passed since Central Catholic’s football team lost for the first time in the career of any player on the current roster.
With their 48 consecutive wins etched in history, the Knights started a new streak Friday night at Benton Central’s Mallory Field.
Will Jones intercepted three passes, returning one 81 yards for a touchdown, Jackson Anthrop scored a pair of touchdowns and junior quarterback Ty Preston threw for 269 yards in his first start as Class A No. 2 CC thumped the Bison 55-12.
The Knights quickly put last week’s 14-12 loss at Culver Academies behind them.
“That was the goal. We are going to start all over, we’re going to have a new mentality and not be complacent like we were,” Jones said.
Central Catholic rebounded from its first loss since Oct. 31, 2008, by scoring its highest point total since last season’s sectional championship.
“We got embarrassed last week and this week we had to get back to Knights football,” senior lineman Patrick Mackey said. “Bringing Ty back in at quarterback got us back to what we do best.”
While it was back to business for the Knights, who face Tipton next Friday for first place in the Hoosier Conference, it was a setback for BC. The Bison were hoping to build off a strong second half against West Lafayette the week before.
Quarterback Brandon Rooze threw second-half touchdowns to Nick Fischbach and Jacob Stucky, whose 65-yard TD capped a 156-yard night. But Rooze was also intercepted five times and completed just 2 of 9 passes in the first half while CC built a 34-0 lead.
“For as great as we played in the fourth quarter against West Lafayette, it was a totally different team out here,” BC coach Doug Nelson said. “I didn’t see the sense of urgency. I saw it a little bit in the fourth quarter, but it’s too late.
“They are a very good team, but do I think we’re as good as they are? We’re really close. We’ve just got to put four quarters together.”
Andrew Hubertz and Ross Corcoran joined Jones in picking off Rooze, and Matt Bouggy booted a pair of 23-yard field goals in the first half. CC’s defense limited the Bison (1-4) to 42 rushing yards on 31 carries.
“We knew coming in they were going to pass against us and that’s all they’ve got,” Jones said. “Our run defense has been doing really well, and I knew our guys up front would get the job done. That would result in them having to pass and we were ready for it.”
Timmy Mills, CC’s star receiver on last year’s undefeated state championship team, started the previous four games at quarterback. Coach Kevin O’Shea moved Mills back to receiver with the team trailing last week.
Mills’ move freed the senior to be more useful on special teams and defense. Mills rewarded his coach by returning the game’s opening kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead 12 seconds in. He also caught six passes for 153 yards.
“It gives us a lot more versatility on defense and special teams now that he can do more,” Mackey said of Mills. “Being the quarterback limited him a lot.”