Central head coach Woodrow Lowe didn't feel the need to overanalyze his team's 41-0 victory Friday night.
Not that there is ever a need to read too much into such a one-sided affair, but it had as much to do with what Central did right as what visiting Jefferson Davis did wrong. The Volunteers committed six turnovers -- four fumbles and two interceptions -- to doom any chances they might have had at victory.
Cue Lowe's blunt assessment of the shutout win.
"Look at the score," he said. "It's indicative. If you get (that many) turnovers, you're supposed to win the game."
Not that the Red Devils (3-3, 2-2 Class 6A Region 3) needed the Volunteers' miscues all that much, anyway. Central held Jeff Davis to 100 yards of total offense (51 rushing, 49 passing) in its dominant victory, while tallying 297 yards (248 rushing, 49 passing) itself.
And it wasn't just the offense that was responsible for the 41 points, either. The defense had a pair of safeties, the first coming in the second quarter as a snap sailed over the head of the Volunteers' punter, while the latter served as the final score of the game. In the shadow of its own end zone, Jeff Davis (0-6, 0-4) attempted to fake a handoff and take it downfield. It never happened, as Red Devil defensive lineman Jamal Couch grabbed hold of Volunteer quarterback Alfred Jennings and slammed him to the turf, putting the final pair of points on the board for the hosts.
All five of the Red Devils' touchdowns in the contest came on the ground, split among three different players. Ryan Humphrey and Kenneth Thomas had two each and Traveon Samuel had one for himself as well.
Central didn't have to work all that hard in the first half, especially when Jeff Davis was more than happy to give the ball to them. The Volunteers coughed up the ball on four different occasions in the game's first 24 minutes. On the first, Red Devil defensive back Christopher James leaped up and caught a wayward pass from Volunteer signal-caller Alfred Jennings at the Jeff Davis 45-yard line, returning it for 24 yards.
Four plays later, kicker Cameron Herring's 31-yard field goal was true, giving Central a 3-0 lead and an advantage it would never relinquish. On the ensuing kickoff, the Volunteers gave the ball right back to the Red Devils. Once again, Central wasted little time putting points on the board, as it got its first touchdown of the game six plays later when Humphrey plunged in from the 3-yard line. It was a script that the Red Devils would follow on their next touchdown: Using a Volunteer fumble and taking advantage of the short field.
Getting the ball on Jeff Davis' 23-yard line, the Red Devils gave the ball to Thomas three straight times and let him go to work. After picking up 10 yards and nine yards, respectively, on his first two carries, he hit pay dirt on his third and final carry from the 4-yard line, putting Central ahead 17-0 with 9:53 to play before halftime.
Of course, by then, the win was well in hand.
That's why Lowe was pleased to see his team never let up even after staking itself out to such a large lead.
"We didn't have any big letdowns on special teams, offense or defense," he said. "We played four quarters of football. I think if we can do that, we'll win more games."
The only negative Lowe could find with the victory? He felt his offense shot itself in the foot far too many times.
"On offense, we stumbled here and there with penalties," he said. "That's one thing we've got to stop doing. I'm not going to say we run a complicated offense, but I do know this: We've got to stop making penalties. That's the only thing that wasn't so good tonight."
Even as he admitted it was "hard to complain" after winning 41-0, his final words harped on his team's penalties.
"When you get that kind of momentum-killer, that's got to be addressed," he said. "That's what I'm going to do."
Friday at Garrett-Harrison StadiumJeff Davis 0 0 0 0--0
Central 10 9 20 2--41First Quarter
CHS- Cameron Herring 31 kick, 6:18
CHS- Ryan Humphrey 3 run (Herring kick), 3:15
CHS- Kenneth Thomas 4 run (Herring kick), 9:53
CHS- Safety, 3:09
CHS- Thomas 4 run (Herring kick no good), 11:09
CHS- Traveon Samuel 1 run (Herring kick), 8:42
CHS- Humphrey 5 run (Herring kick), 4:18
CHS- Safety, 6:13
Records: 0-6, 0-4 Class 6A, Region 3. Central 3-3, 2-2. Next: Central, at Auburn, Friday, 8 p.m.