JETTA FRASER / TOLEDO BLADE Enlarge
On homecoming night at Clay's Memorial Stadium, the only thing that resembled an aerial attack came in the post-game din when a helicopter dumped hundreds of golf balls near midfield as part of a “Chopper Dropper” fund-raiser.
Prior to that, it was all about ground maneuvers as Central Catholic methodically pounded out a 28-0 City League football victory over the host Eagles in a game that took less than two hours to complete.
“It may be boring for our receivers,” said 6-2, 280-pound Irish senior center Kyle Cameron, “but it's not boring for us.
“Our backs did a great job. They looked to the right lanes and they cut it up when they needed to. They took the short yards when they needed to and always got positive yardage.”
Running behind their massive offensive line — which averages 280 pounds per man — Irish running backs Calebb Goings and Amir Edwards combined for 208 of Central's 221 rushing yards, and all four of Central's touchdowns.
“Goings and Edwards are real good at reading and cutting off their blocks,” Central coach Greg Dempsey said. “They're very patient and give their linemen time to do their job. They had a great night tonight.
“The staff did a great job preparing the defense this week, and the kids did a great job of executing. They played real hard.”
The win moved Central, which was ranked No. 7 in the latest Division II state poll, to 6-0 overall (3-0 CL) heading into its gauntlet of an October schedule.
The Irish will face St. Francis de Sales, Whitmer, Akron Buchtel, and St. John's Jesuit to close the regular season.
JETTA FRASER / TOLEDO BLADE Enlarge
Goings carried 27 times for 137 yards, and Edwards added 71 yards on 13 rushes for Central, which attempted just three passes in the game. Quarterback Joey Schneider completed two of those for 30 yards.
The rest was up to the Irish defense, which limited Clay to 72 yards of offense in the game. Central has outscored its six opponents 202-26.
Central outscored Clay 7-0 in each of the four quarters.
The Irish took advantage of a short field on their first possession, beginning at the Eagles' 34. It took Central 10 plays to punch it in, with Goings carrying the final yard for a 7-0 Irish lead with 5:05 left in the first quarter.
Key on that short march was Schneider's 11-yard completion on a roll-out pass to tight end Kevin McCulley, which gave Central a first-and-goal on the Clay 1.
Goings scored on Central's third play from there.
The Irish appeared poised to add a TD late in the second quarter after moving to the Eagles' 13. But Clay defensive back Ross Achter intercepted a Schneider pass near the goal line at the 3:50 mark and returned the ball to Clay's 5.
The Eagles (3-3, 1-1) returned the favor with 2:02 left in the half, however, when running back Kevin Gaskins lost a fumble at the Clay 14 on a third-down carry.
Amir Edwards carried three times to get Central a first-and-goal at the Clay 1, and Goings added his second one-yard TD plunge of the game 25 seconds before halftime.
After the break Central abandoned the pass altogether. The Irish ran 29 times for 154 yards, with Goings and Edwards each adding two-yard TD runs in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.
“I give everything to my line,” Goings said. “We really take advantage of what they can do. We try to exhaust the other team and then turn those five-yarders into 50-yarders.”
Clay quarterback Austin Achter was limited to nine yards on 16 rushing attempts and was 2-of-4 passing for 10 yards. Gaskins carried 11 times for 34 yards for the Eagles, who managed just six first downs in the game compared to 15 for the ball-control Irish.
“We were just outmanned,” Clay coach Mike Donnelly said. “We missed some tackles, had some penalties, and turned it over in our own end. We couldn't get anything going offensively.
“They pretty much controlled the game at the line of scrimmage and we didn't have anything for them tonight.”