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Three weeks into the high school football season, Central Catholic appears to have the potential for another state title run.
The Fighting Irish, winners of the 2012 Division II state title, dominated in all facets on Friday night in a 35-6 victory over visiting Perrysburg at Gallagher Stadium.
Beyond the scoreboard — which the Yellow Jackets failed to light up until 16.5 seconds remained in the game — the proof of Central’s dominance was in the numbers. The Irish (3-0) topped Perrysburg 540-213 in total offense, with 73 of the Jackets’ yards coming on their final possession.
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“It was a matter of taking what was there at the time,” Central coach Greg Dempsey said of passing on the first five plays. “We were spreading them out and leaving some lanes, and we have some good skill guys.
“That was what was there tonight. I like to be able to run and pass, and take what they give us. I was real proud of the effort from everybody tonight.”
DeShone Kizer, Central’s Notre Dame-bound senior quarterback, completed 11 of 17 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown.
“When you have threats on the outside and the inside, it makes it a lot easier,” Kizer said. “The pass opens up the run and the run opens up the pass. Everyone has put in a lot of time to make the passing game a lot more successful this year, and today we showed that.”
Sophomore running back Tre’Von Wade carried 20 times for 160 yards and scored on a five-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Senior Paul Moses contributed 33 yards on eight carries and scored on runs of five and six yards in the second and third quarters as the Irish built a 21-0 lead.
The Irish defense was downright stingy, holding the Jackets to 53 rushing yards on 19 attempts in trying to contain Perrysburg junior quarterback Gus Dimmerling.
“We just stayed disciplined and stayed with our keys,” Irish linebacker Chris Green said. “We were in their face the whole time. We didn’t give them any breathing room, and we tried not to give them any confidence.”
Dimmerling did manage 160 yards on 13-of-27 passing. “We didn’t execute, we missed blocks, we missed assignments on defense, and we didn’t play well,” Perrysburg coach Matt Kregel said. “That’s the upsetting thing right now.
“If you’re going to play a team like that, you’ve got to play hard, and you’ve got to play well. We’ll assess whether we played hard on film, but we did not play well.”
Central broke a scoreless tie on the second play of the second quarter. On a third-and-9 play from the Perrysburg 19, Kizer fired a TD strike to Jermiah Braswell (five catches, 125 yards).
Central added a TD on its next possession, this time covering 62 yards on five plays, with Moses getting the score. The Irish led 14-0 with 6:26 left before halftime.
That margin might have been wider had Central not squandered a prime scoring chance on the game’s opening drive. With Kizer completing four of his first five passes for 66 yards, the Irish earned a first-and-goal at the Perrysburg 3 after Derich Weiland’s 11-yard run. But Weiland lost a fumble on the next play to end that threat.
The Irish added another Moses TD run with 3:28 left in the third, Wade got his TD 26 seconds into the fourth, and sophomore Joe Dandino scored on an eight-yard run with 2:41 to play.
Perrysburg (1-2) got its lone score on Dimmerling 42-yard pass to tight end Nate Patterson.
Contact Steve Junga at: email@example.com, 419-724-6461, or on Twitter@JungaBlade.