Central wanted to play a perfect game Friday night.
It came pretty close sending Auburn packing with a 48-9 win in the second round of the AHSAA Class 7A state playoffs.
“I think we were really focused…” Central coach Jamey DuBose said. “I’ve been talking to them about perfection. I’ve been talking to them about being a perfect team the next three to four weeks. We’ll have to see where it goes.”
The Red Devils smothered Auburn in a rematch between teams that played the third week of the season.
“I was worried a little bit with our mindset cause of winning (42-14) earlier in the year, but I think tonight we came out and played a complete game,” DuBose said.
Central ran only 16 plays in the first half, but they managed four touchdowns to build a 28-6 halftime lead.
Auburn had one lengthy scoring drive in the half — 17-plays for 73-yards — but the Tigers’ strategy of grinding out yards on the ground against Central’s imposing defensive front failed in the 48-9 loss.
The big moment for Central’s defense came with less than 30 seconds to go in the second quarter when Auburn failed to convert a fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line.
Quarterback Brooks Fuller tried to sneak the ball in between the tackles, but there wasn’t a hole to slip through.
A group of Central defenders stood Fuller up at the line of scrimmage without giving an inch.
“I think that was one of the biggest plays of the night, biggest series of the night however you want to put it,” DuBose said. “I think bowing their neck and keeping them out of the end zone was key.”
It wasn’t the only time Auburn’s backfield lost a battle at the line of scrimmage, on a night where they ran the ball 46 times for an average of 3.08 yards per carry. The Tigers had only one carry go more than 8 yards in the loss.
Central’s offense had a much easier time moving the ball thanks to a career night from quarterback Zion Webb.
Often times working with a short field, Webb orchestrated a series of quick scoring drives.
The dual-threat quarterback went 8-of-10 for 128 yards with three touchdowns and ran the ball seven times for 40 yards with two more scores in three quarters.
A missed field goal late in the third quarter was the first time Central didn’t come away with points on a drive.
Central has outscored its last three opponents by a combined score of 180-19. The Red Devils have averaged 55.3 points per game going back to a 59-28 win over R.E. Lee on Oct. 14.
The win was Central coach Jamey DuBose’s 100th victory of his career.
The Red Devils will travel to face McGill-Toolen in Mobile in next week’s state semifinals.
“We just got to get better from here,” Webb. “We can’t get complacent.”
Friday at Garrett-Harrison Stadium
C – Justyn Ross 12 pass from Zion Webb (Alvin Rentaria kick), 7:12
C – Webb 10 run (Rentaria kick), 4:05
A – Patrick Anders 9 pass from Brooks Fuller (kick failed), 8:25
C – Jaxton Carson 5 run (Rentaria kick), 6:19
C – Christian Allen 37 pass from Webb, (Rentaria kick), 3:34
C – Webb 15 run (Rentaria kick), 8:15
C – Allen 7 pass from Webb (kick failed), 8:01
A - Avery Atkins 36 field goal, (8:10)
C – Javien Ishmael 35 fumble (Rentaria kick), 1:20