The Richmond Register

Sports

October 4, 2013

H.S. FOOTBALL: Indians set for another challenge

RICHMOND — After battling tough against a pair of state powerhouses in their previous two games — Scott County and Lexington Catholic — the Indians just couldn’t take advantages of their opportunities last week.

Madison Central (1-5) had more first downs than Dunbar (18 to 14) and finished with nearly the same amount of total yardage (370 to 349). But, three first-half turnovers led to 14 points and a 35-0 deficit at halftime.

The banged-up, short-handed Indians went on to suffer a 42-7 loss at Dunbar.

“We have 18 first downs and 340-something yards of offense and we only score seven points,” Central coach Bert Browne said. “We’ve got to do better offensively. When you have that many first down you should scored at least 35 or 42 points.”

The result was a fourth-straight loss.

The Indians will try to snap that skid when they take on undefeated Henry Clay (5-0) today in Richmond.

Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.

“They are always athletic,” Browne said of Henry Clay. “They are always the best looking team you see on the field in warm-ups. They are tough. They’ve got a great running back.”

The Blue Devils have averaged more than 35 points a game and out-scored their opponents 178 to 56 on the season.

Only one of their victories has come by less than double-digits - a 21-13 win over Tates Creek on Sept. 13.

Senior running back Elijah Bell has led the way, offensively, this season for Henry Clay. He is averaging 172 yards a game on the ground, which is the best among all Class 6A players in the state.

Bell has 859 yards on just 86 carries — an average of almost 10 yards a carry — with 10 touchdowns.

Led by the senior, the Blue Devils are rushing for 254 yards a game (third-best in Class 6A).

“He’s a great football player,” Browne said of Bell. “He’s a Division I running back. He can absolutely fly. He’s strong. He’s tough as all get out.”

Henry Clay’s defense has been extremely solid as well.

The Blue Devils are allowing just 11.2 points a game (second-best in Class 6A).

Henry Clay had not allowed more than 14 points in a game this season until last week. In that win, Lafayette led 10-7 at halftime and 16-13 after three quarters.

The Blue Devils scored three times in the fourth quarter, twice on TD runs by Bell (nine yards and 21 yards).

Bell had 247 yards on 31 carries with three touchdowns, while Davion Jackson had 112 yards on 19 carries and Rhoman James had 70 yards on two carries.

Henry Clay finished with 445 yards rushing on 62 attempts.

The Indians have battled serious injury problem all season and had two more players get hurt against Dunbar.

Nathan Coots and Cody Kidd both left the game early in the first half and will be out against Henry Clay.

Keonta Goggins, a senior linebacker, was able to return last week, but Central will still be without about a dozen regular starters.

Sophomore quarterback Kameron Presnell suffered a concussion two weeks ago and has not been cleared to practice. That once again leaves freshman Zach Hardin as the Indians’ only healthy quarterback.

He completed 11-of-27 passes for 171 yards with one interception against Dunbar.

On the season, Hardin is 42-of-98 for 667 yards and five touchdowns with six interceptions.

“I’ve got to do a better job calling plays for Zach, He’s so poised and he throws the ball so well, you forget he’s a freshman,” Browne said of Hardin. “I’ve got to do a better job of realizing he is a freshman and when I was a freshman, that I wasn’t ready to start varsity.”

Sophomore running back Johan Williams had 103 yards rushing against Dunbar. He’s had more than 100 yards on the ground three times this season.

Central defeated Henry Clay 44-24 last year in Lexington.

Two years ago, the Blue Devils beat the Indians in Richmond, 28-27.

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