By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
A disastrous first half led to a lopsided loss for Madison Central Friday on the road.
The Indians had three turnovers before halftime, which led to 14 points, and Paul Laurence Dunbar (4-2) took advantage, rolling to a 42-7 win.
A.J. Williams rushed for three touchdowns and 117 yards and quarterback Emory Thompson threw for 117 yards and a touchdown.
The loss was the fourth-straight for Central (1-5).
The Indians had beaten Dunbar three-straight times (2012, 2011 and 2008), but this time around, the Bulldogs took charge right away.
On just the second play from scrimmage, Cam Pergram went 33 yards for a touchdown.
Williams scored later in the first quarter on a 14-yard run and added a 68-yard TD run with 6:57 left in the second quarter to put Dunbar up 21-0.
Jay Coleman scored on a 27-yard run with 2:47 left before the half and Jmaurion Dunn scored on a 66-yard pass from Thompson with 43 seconds left before halftime.
The Indians had just 127 yards of total offense in the first half, even though they moved the ball into PLD territory three times.
Freshman quarterback Zach Hardin was 3-for-14 in the first half.
The Central offense showed some life in the second half.
The Indians went 66 yards on the first drive of the second half, but come up short on 4th-and-six on the Dunbar 10-yard line.
The Bulldogs responded with an 12-play, 90-yard drive that Williams capped with a 1-yard TD run.
Central got on the board mid-way through the fourth quarter. The Indians went 78 yards on eight plays and got a 2-yard TD run by Johan Williams, his fourth of the season.
Williams finished with 103 yards rushing — his third 100-yard rushing game of the season — and Korrion Crier added 71 yards on 17 carries.
Hardin was 11-of-27 for 171 yards with one interception.
Caleb McClurg had a team-best four catches for 49 yards, while Auston Campbell had three catches for 67 yards.
John Williams had caught a touchdown pass in every game this season, but had just two catches for 48 yards — a season low — against Dunbar.
Central was 2-of-10 on third down and 1-for-5 on fourth down.
Keonta Goggins had a team-best five tackles for Central, with 2.0 tackles for loss and one sack.
Will Hinton had an interception and Jeffery Robinson forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.
Central is set to return to action Friday at home against Henry Clay.