By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
The Indians had the ball seven times in the first half of Friday’s crucial district showdown with Lafayette.
Those possessions resulted in just three points and four turnovers — all interceptions.
The Generals (3-6, 2-0 district) scored 10 points off those turnovers and built a 30-point second half lead before cruising to a 43-27 win. The Indians (1-8, 0-2 district) were out-gained 480-322 even though they had just one fewer first down than Lafayette (19-18).
The loss was the seventh-straight for Central.
Sophomore running back Johan Williams had another solid performance. He finished with 98 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown.
Freshman quarterback Zach Hardin completed 15-of-29 passes for 200 and two touchdowns, both to Caleb McClurg. Hardin also threw three interceptions.
McClurg had seven catches for 75 yards.
The loss leaves Central with very little chance of playing host to a first-round playoff game. The Indians would have to beat Clark County next week and get some help to stay at home for the playoff opener.
Central’s turnover trouble started on the first play from scrimmage. Hardin gave the ball to Kameron Presnell, who rolled to the right and threw a pass that was intercepted by Malik McWilliams.
Lafayette didn’t capitalize on that turnover, but did take the lead on a 2-yard Maykah Brown touchdown run with 4:34 left in the first quarter.
Central found a way to get back in the game. The Indians came up with a safety then got a Ben Durham 22-yard field goal in the opening minute of the second quarter to cut the Lafayette lead to 6-5.
The Generals got two more touchdown and a field goal in the second quarter to stretch their lead to 22-5 at halftime.
After Kylan Nelson scored on a 23-yard pass to put Lafayette up 29-5, McClurg caught a 6-yard TD pass from Hardin.
Nelson scored again moments later on a 95-yard kickoff return, then Malik Robinson scored on a 3-yard run early in the fourth quarter to put Lafayette up 43-13.
Williams scored on a 3-yard run 6:07 left and McClurg had an 13-yard TD catch with just 52 seconds left.
Central will wrap up the regular season next Friday at home against Clark County (2-6, 1-1). The Cardinals defeated Tates Creek (5-4, 1-1) Friday, 33-26, at home.