Central routs Hinkley at Stocker to win first game

Central High School’s Justin Eller, 13, picks up yardage Friday night as he runs through a hole in Hinkley’s defense during the first quarter of the Warriors’ 47-23 victory at Stocker Stadium.

All season, the Central High School football team began the final quarter of play with an opportunity to win.

The Warriors, though, would give up the lead and lose the game.

On Friday night, Central (1-3) built an 18-point lead entering the fourth quarter and defeated Hinkley 48-23 at Stocker Stadium.

“It feels real good to get a win,” Central senior quarterback Taylor Sanchez said. “We played real good. It gave us a lot of confidence knowing we can work as a team and get things done.”

Sanchez led the way, rushing for 111 yards with four touchdowns and completing 6 of 11 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

Hinkley (1-3) took it to the Warriors early, building a 10-0 lead behind two pass plays from quarterback Mike Davis to Jon Newsom.

The seniors connected on a 56-yard pass play to set up a 28-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. On the Thunderbirds’ next possession, the two hooked up for a 73-yard scored that had Central stunned.

Sanchez rallied his team with a 26-yard touchdown run with 5:15 left in the first quarter and scored again on a 1-yard run with 1:13 left in the opening quarter for a 14-10 lead.

Hinkley recovered a Central fumble on the Warriors’ next possession and Davis and Newsom took advantage with a 8-yard touchdown pass for a 17-14 lead midway through the second quarter.

“Their No. 19 (Newsom) is a great receiver,” Central coach Vern McGee said. “I thought our corners were doing a good job. Coach (Tony) Santy and (Jack) Robinson made some changes. We went from a 4-3 to a 3-3 to a 4-2 and our kids did a great job making adjustments. Taylor did a great job as an extra defensive back.”

Central had one last chance to score before the half and cashed in.

With one minute left and the Warriors facing fourth-and-3 on Hinkley’s 24, Sanchez ran left, faked outside and ran inside past the defensive end to the 1-yard line. He scored on the next play with 55 seconds left for a 21-17 lead.

“We knew they would bring pressure,” Sanchez said. “We were just working on reading that. It opened up perfect. I have to give the line credit. They blocked well tonight.”

The Thunderbirds quickly moved down the field into Central territory and had first-and-goal at the 5 with 5.9 seconds left.

Trevor Ketchum-Marlow knocked down the pass, but the officials ruled there was 5/10ths of a second left in the half, giving Hinkley one more chance.

This time, Ketchum-Marlow intercepted Davis in the end zone, allowing the Warriors to cling to their four-point lead at halftime.

“I read the quarterback really good,” Ketchum-Marlow said. “It was a good stop.”

“Trevor’s interception was huge,” McGee said. “I look at the clock and there was 5/10ths of a second left. It looked like (the receiver) was open in the back of the end zone.”

Central opened the third quarter with a three-play,  56-yard drive.

Sanchez scored on a 9-yard run for a 27-17 lead. He scored again on the next possession for a 34-17 lead, then hit Rodney Stowe for a 44-yard touchdown pass for a 41-17 lead.


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