Central quarterbacks unload on Enterprise
By Mark Clark
The No. 1 ranked Class 7A Central High Red Devils refused to be hardheaded when they faced the Enterprise High Wildcats last week. Instead of trying to run the ball against a stacked defense, the Red Devils turned to their air attack to dismantle their opponent, deciding there was more than one way to skin a cat.
Central senior Peter Parrish and junior Tucker Melton sliced up the Wildcats’ defense for 304 yards on 19 of 25 attempts for four touchdowns all in the first half and the first 24 minutes and 34 seconds of the game for a 34-0 lead in a 48-0 shutout. Parrish, an LSU commit, was 13 of 17 for 157 yards with a touchdown. Melton was 6-of-8 for 147 yards and three touchdowns. A third Central quarterback, Trey Miles, was 1-of-3 for 29 yards, giving Central a total of 333 yards passing on 20-of-28 passing with four TDs and no interceptions.
“We got to running late, but that was because we softened them up with our passing game. That’s what you got to do. They know our run game is good. They know our two backs are really good. So instead of being hardheaded and sitting in there and banging it like we could of, like we can. It was a good night to get the passing game going. I think our quarterback – both quarterbacks – handled it really good and I tell you a really good thing about our offensive coaches, when we had to go eighty yards right at the end of the half, it was flawless. It was really, really good. That’s the best practice you can have in a game situation where you score with twenty-something seconds to go. I mean, our guys handled it well. We used one timeout and still had one in the pocket. I was real proud of that. It was also exciting to get to see our young kids get in late and have an opportunity in a varsity game to have success. That’s what we’ve been working for, man. I know a lot of people don’t get a chance to come to practice, but in the past we would put our JV group in, in a varsity game, and we would go backwards. Tonight, we put them in and we went forward. Man that is a bright shining star for me. I am so proud,” Central coach Jamey DuBose said.
The 48-0 victory tied the record for the biggest margin of victory by a team in the 30-game series between the two schools. It matched the record set last season when Central defeated the Wildcats 55-7. The Red Devils now lead the series 20-9-1.
Standing on the sideline as the clock expired; Parrish watched his younger teammates finish the game with the Wildcats and reflected on the drive to end the first half.
“That was a special drive. I feel good about what we did. I felt good about throwing the ball to my guys. Things just went smooth,” Parrish said.
Melton said he knew what the Red Devils were going to have to do to win against Enterprise when he first stepped behind center.
“We knew we were going to have to make some plays with our arms. We knew were going to throw as soon as Enterprise stacked the box. We had to get the ball to our receivers and let them do what they can do. The coaches made some good calls. Our line gave us the time we needed to throw,” Melton said.
DuBose had words to say about quarterbacks
DuBose had words to say about his quarterbacks after the game.
“Well, I will tell you what; to be honest with you both of them handled it well. Our receivers got open well. And you know the biggest thing is you know we are leaving out of this is protection. I know they were rushed and got hit a couple of times and stayed in the pocket. We had to get out of it a couple of times. But for the most part, the protection was really, really good up front. I think defensively, look at the goose egg on the board again. I think that’s three times, it could have been four. Very proud of our defensive staff, our defensive players. Like I’ve said, we’re really banged up on defense and we have several guys with some big injuries or some nagging injuries. We have to spend the next week to get some guys healthy and getting some younger guys going. We have a big one next week. Robert E. Lee is coming home. They are coming right here. We’ll have senior night going on. We’ll have a lot of things going on, but most important we will be trying to get another region win,” DuBose said.
Central will play Robert E. Lee tomorrow night at Garrett-Harrison Stadium. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. ET.
First touchdown took the longest to score
It took until the 2:19 mark of the first quarter before Central got on the scoreboard. With its second possession of the game, the Red Devils marched 85 yards – having to repeat 35 of those yards due to penalties – in 13 plays. Parrish was 6 of 6 passing for 73 of the yards. A’Montae Spivey, an Arkansas commit, scored the touchdown on a nine-yard run. Noah Pell added the extra point to give the Red Devils a 7-0 lead. Spivey, Central’s leading rusher for the season, ran for 28 yards on six attempts in the contest and caught a pass for another 28 yards and was done for the night with over six minutes to play in the first half.
Melton capped a six-play, 61-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Peter Jakes with 10:48 left in the second quarter. The Red Devils led 13-0 as a pass for the two-point conversion failed.
Melton guided Central’s next scoring drive of 83 yards in four plays to give the Red Devils a 20-0 lead with 5:41 remaining in the half. He connected with EJ Williams on a 17-yard scoring strike. Pell kicked the extra point.
With 1:09 left in the first half, Central’s Devonte Mathews picked off an Enterprise pass at the Central 16-yard-line and set up his team’s final scoring drive of the first half.
Parrish threw an incomplete pass to start the drive and then connected on his next four passes to move the Red Devils to the Enterprise 45. The passes were to four different receivers. He hit Williams for a 20-yard gain to the Wildcats 15. He then connected with Williams on a 10-yard strike to the 5-yard-line. On the next, and final, play of the drive, Parrish found Deonte Williams in the front corner of the end zone for the touchdown with 3.3 seconds left on the clock. Central went to halftime with a 27-0 lead.
Robert Marsh returned the opening kickoff of the second half 36 yards to the Enterprise 37. On the first offensive play for the Red Devils of the second half, Melton threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Kameron Mason with only 34 seconds gone from the third-quarter clock. Central led 34-0.
DuBose sent in his younger players from that point on. Trey Miles came in to quarterback and drive the Red Devils to the Enterprise 22 to set up a 39-yard field goal attempt. The kick failed with 5:39 to play in the third quarter.
Miles took the team 54 yards on the next offensive possession for a touchdown. Zion Morris ran 13 yards into the end zone with 2:12 left in the third quarter. Braxton Carr kicked the extra point to give Central 41-0 lead.
The Red Devils went 69 yards in 11 plays for their final points. Miles ended the drive with an eight-yard run for the points. Central led 48-0.
Some statistics of note
Miles was Central’s leading rusher for the evening in a back-up role with 56 yards on six carries. Jalen Wilkins had 53 yards on six attempts off the bench as well. The Red Devils runners combined for 247 yards on 40 carries for the night. Williams had five catches for 72 yards with a touchdown. Adding the 333 yards passing with the team’s rushing yards, Central had a combined 580 total yards – 352 of the yards came in the first half.