For Central, the teamâs season opener didnât exactly yield the results it had hoped for.
Adam Ballâs first game as coach for the Indians would result in a 48-3 blowout at the hands of No. 5 Liberty, as his team struggled to do much of anything in slowing down the Blue Jays on either side of the ball.
âWe played sloppy, we played slow. Lot of mistakes and too many penalties,â said Ball. âI was disappointed with the way we came out.â
From the gameâs first possession, Liberty demonstrated its dominance. Following a bruising drive in which Blue Jays senior Robert Rawie pounded through in short yardage for a pair of first downs, Liberty passer Thomas Henrichs let loose a bomb up the right sideline that found his target, connecting with senior receiver Gibson Brown for a 42-yard deep strike for touchdown to open up the game.
It wouldnât be the last time the team was victimized by the Blue Jaysâ vertical passing attack.
In the second quarter, Heinrichs would again find Brown for a 70-yard touchdown, and near the end of the half backup Alex Roush hit sophomore Michael Book for yet another explosive 53-yard play to mark is 35-0.
After half, the game had a running clock.
âThey made some great plays. They have great athletes and theyâre well coached,â said Ball. âI know one of them was an assignment bust on our part. Weâre playing with a young guy in Jake Judah, he plays as hard as anyone else. But he takes his lumps every once in awhile and he got beat over the top.â
Perhaps more surprising was Libertyâs performance on the ground where the Blue Jays would chalk up 193 total rushing yards and two rushing scores while holding Centralâs rushing attack to 65 yards. This coming despite being at a substantial disadvantage when it came to pure bulk up front on the line.
Liberty coach Chad Frigon elaborated how his team was able to overcome Centralâs size.
âTheyâre a big, strong team, we see it on film. We do some misdirection and fakes and to keep things spread out in space, because it gives our guys the chance to win one on one blocks,â the coach said.
Despite the resounding loss, Ball is confident in his teamâs ability to bounce back.
âIâm excited to see how we respond in practice and in meetings tomorrow. I want to see what kind of juice we bring, because thereâs a lot to learn from here.â
Levi Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPSports