Central Catholic's Marwan Allen-Marsenburg (52) brings down Southview’s Samuel Stout during Friday’s game in Sylvania.
Through 24 minutes of their football battle with 2012 Division II state champion Central Catholic Friday night,, the host Southview Cougars held the upper hand, and owned an 11-7 halftime lead.
Central Catholic running back Tre'Von Wade (38) breaks away from the Southview defense. He finished with 131 rushing yards, including the final score of the game for his team.
And then there were the final 24 minutes.
Central wide receiver Dayton Copeland-Lee (4) scored on a 19-yard touchdown strike from quarterback DeShone Kizer.
Those belonged to the visiting Irish (2-0), who scored four second-half touchdowns in a span of 12 minutes and 22 seconds to take control, and eventually cruise to a 35-17 victory at Cats Stadium in Sylvania.
“You’ve got to be willing to take what they’re giving you, and I was a little stubborn in the first half,” Central coach Greg Dempsey said of his team’s halftime adjustment. “They did some things up front that we hadn’t seen, but our kids responded well in the second half.”
DeShone Kizer, Central’s Notre Dame-bound senior quarterback, shook off a poor first-half showing to lead the post-halftime offensive onslaught.
He completed just five of his 15 passes in the game, but those completions went for 188 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran 10 times for 98 yards and a score as the Irish moved to 2-0.
“We went into the locker room, we picked up what they were doing, and we made our adjustments and came out successful in the second half,” Kizer said. “We spread it out and we threw the ball a little bit. They played a lot of man coverage, and they packed the box on us and sent a lot of blitzers.
“We knew in the second half we had to air it out and try to attack as many mismatches as we could.”
Tre’Von Wade, Central’s sophomore running back, contributed 131 rushing yards on 25 carries, including his team’s final TD on a five-yard run that gave the Irish a 35-11 lead with 9:07 remaining.
“I just played my role,” Wade said. “The linemen just worked harder in the second half, and that allowed me to make some plays.”
Kizer had begun the surge early in the third quarter, first hitting Jermiah Braswell on a 57-yard pass that set up his on play-of-the-game effort on the next snap.
Kizer eluded three potential Cougar tacklers who seemed to have him sacked. He then rolled right and zipped a 19-yard TD strike to Dayton Copeland-Lee to give Central a 14-11 lead 2:21 into the period.
Kizer’s 60-yard screen pass to Wade set up a five-yard TD run by Derich Weiland (nine carries, 38 yards) with 5:08 left in the third.
After a Southview three-and-out, the Irish needed just four plays to score again for the third time in a span of 6:12. This time it was Kizer faking a handoff and running 11 yards around left end for the TD.
“I think they might have had a couple more slugs [of ammunition] in the third quarter than we did,” Southview coach Jim Mayzes said. “Last week, our guys kind of laid down and surrendered [in 21-18 loss to St. Francis], and this week they didn’t surrender.
“I was proud of the way our young men battled tonight. But, Central is a good football team, and [Kizer] is an exceptional athlete. He made some plays for touchdowns and we were hanging on his back.”
Central had gotten on the board first in the game when Kizer found Braswell over the middle on a 54-yard TD play with 4:57 left in the first quarter.
Kizer finished the half just 1-for-9 passing.
“I wasn’t frustrated [at halftime],” Kizer said. “I expected a battle. We’re not a team that going to put up 50 points a game and blow teams out. We’re a young team and we’re going to have to make adjustments at halftime. We made the right adjustments this week, and after halftime the guys came out with new mindsets.”
Southview senior QB, Griffin McDonald, made the most of his six first-half completions, passing for 165 of the Cougars’ 184 total yards before the break.
Southview (0-2) took an 8-7 lead with 37 seconds left in the first quarter on McDonald’s 38-yard TD strike to Perry Burks, and McDonald’s subsequent two-point conversion run.
The Cougars’ final drive of the first half netted Kurtis Parsons’ 23-yard field goal, and an 11-7 lead 25 seconds before halftime.
After Central capped its unanswered, 28-point, second-half onslaught, McDonald was able to finally snap an 0-for-9 passing stretch late in the game.
He passed 41 yards to J.J. Pinckney for a TD with 3:23 remaining, and finished 10-of-29 passing for 270 yards and two scores.
Central topped Southview 484-300 in total offense, including an overwhelming 296-30 edge in rushing yards.
Contact Steve Junga at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 419-724-6461 or on Twitter@JungaBlade.