By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
The Indians could have tried taking a shot at the end zone in the closing moments Friday at home against long-time district rival Clark County.
They had a timeout and more than a minute left on the clock to work with.
But, Madison Central coach Bert Browne was confident his team didn’t need to get any closer.
“I knew that if we got inside the 25-yard line, Ben was going it knock it down,” Browne said. “He’s fearless. He just stuck that bad boy right down the (middle).”
The senior kicker hit a 27-yard field goal as time expired to give Madison Central (2-8, 1-2 district) a 32-30 win. The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak and assured that the Indians wouldn’t have to face top-ranked Scott County in the opening round of the Class 6A Playoffs.
“We did this today for our seniors,” sophomore running back Johan Williams said. “Last year, unfortunately, we didn’t win on Senior Night. But, this year, we were determined to win, especially against GRC.”
Williams had a career-best four touchdowns and 246 all-purpose yards (226 rushing, 20 receiving), but it took Durham’s last-second kick to seal a come-from-behind victory.
The senior hit a 31-yard field goal with 1 second left to help Central defeat Woodford County 23-21 on Aug. 30 in Versailles.
He through again against Clark County.
“The key thing is not to think about anything and just treat it like its any other kick,” Durham said. “I mentally prepare for every extra point like its a game-winning field goal. It’s nerve-racking, but you’ve got to tough it out for your boys.”
Williams’ fourth touchdown of the game gave Central a 29-23 lead with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter. The score stayed that way until Clark County quarterback Luke Sharrock scored on a 4-yard run with 2:05 left in the game.
The extra point put the Cardinals up 30-29.
The Indians got the ball back one last time and made the most of that opportunity.
Senior Caleb McClurg came up with a 25-yard reception on third down and long to keep the drive alive, then Williams caught a screen pass and went 20 yards to get the ball down to the Clark County 16-yard line.
“I knew that if they left us time, we could move the ball down the field,” Browne said. “That was a big catch by Caleb McClurg. The kids played their butts off.”
Williams got off to a fast start.
The sophomore scored on a 42-yard run on the fourth play of the game. He added 16-yard TD run later in the first quarter and scored again on a 6-yard run in the third quarter.
“He’s a player,” Browne said of Williams. “We are going to get him in the weight room and put on about 15 or 20 pounds, then he’s going to be unbelievable. He’s got great vision. He sees the holes as well as anyone I’ve ever coached.”
Williams’ performance pushed him past 1,000 yards rushing on the season. He now has 1,050 yards on 176 carries with 12 rushing touchdowns.
“My line was more happy than I was,” Williams said of his big game. “I was just happy to pull out the win. They helped me get (those yards).”
Neither team had more than a seven-point advantage in the game.
Central had leads of 7-0, 7-6, 14-6, 21-20 and 29-23.
Clark County had leads of 20-14, 23-21 and 30-29.
Central quarterback Zach Hardin was six-of-13 for 107 yards, while McClurg had five catches for 74 yards.
Central is set to take on either Bryan Station, Dunbar or Henry Clay in the opening round of the playoffs in two weeks.