By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
In the past three weeks, Madison Central’s offense hadn’t had any problem finding the end zone.
During that stretch, the Indians had posted 133 total points and had scored at least 44 points in each game.
But with a shot at a district title on line Friday on the road, Central’s offense was shockingly ineffective.
The Indians posted a season-low 252 yards and suffered a 21-0 loss to Lafayette (6-3, 2-0 district). Central (5-3, 1-1 district) had four turnovers and was 0-for-4 in red zone opportunities.
“It was unbelievable,” Central coach Bert Browne said. “We should have had 400 yards on that football team. In the first half we left 21 points out there.”
It was a stunning display from an offense that posted 915 total yards combined in wins the previous two weeks over Henry Clay and district rival Tates Creek.
The Indians got into the red zone three times in the first half, but those possession resulted in a failed fourth down on the Lafayette 20-yard line, a missed field goal and a fumble.
The game was still scoreless with just more than a minute left in the first half and the Indians driving. Quarterback Hunter Stocker hit Sam Jones over the middle, but the tight end fumbled the ball inside the Lafayette 5-yard line.
The Generals recovered the ball in the end zone and the game went to halftime scoreless.
“That kills you,” Browne said of Jones’ fumble. “Our defense played well. You can’t ask them to keep holding them and holding them and holding them.”
The Generals took the lead on the first possession of the second half.
Lafayette got a 31-yard catch by Tranard Chester and then Kylan Nelson scored on a 20-yard run with 8:25 left in the third quarter.
“We just got our butts out-played,” Browne said.
Central got into the red zone once again on it first drive of the third quarter. The Indians had a first down on the Lafayette 12-yard line, but Stocker was sacked on fourth down.
In the fourth quarter, Garrett Peavler hit pass plays of 33 and 34 yards, leading to a 6-yard TD pass to Josh Dunn that gave Lafayette a 14-0 lead.
“That’s our weak point,” Browne said of Central’s pass defense. “We’ve given up some big pass plays. But, I thought the defense played well enough to win the football game.”
Lafayette finished with 250 yards passing.
Dunn caught a 14-yard TD pass with 40 seconds left in the game to seal the win.
Central senior running back Dominique Hawkins had 87 yards rushing on 15 carries and Ken-Jah Bosley was limited just 33 yards on four catches.
Stocker was 9-of-13 for 77 yards and two interceptions.
With the loss, the Indians fall out of first place in the district and will need a win next week at Clark County to wrap up the No. 2 seed and earn a first-round home playoff game.
“That’s the district title right down the drain,” Browne said.