Valley Preps

‘Hot hands.’ QBs Tucker Melton and ‘Trigger Trey’ lead Central’s 44-0 victory

Central QB Tucker Melton confident after Red Devils’ 44-0 win over Smiths Station

Central quarterbacks Tucker Melton and Trey Miles combined for four touchdowns as the Red Devils trounced rival Smiths Station in the Backyard Brawl.
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Central quarterbacks Tucker Melton and Trey Miles combined for four touchdowns as the Red Devils trounced rival Smiths Station in the Backyard Brawl.

Yes, Central-Phenix City coach Jamey DuBose has two quarterbacks.

There’s no controversy, either. The system he’s running now is paying off.

Tucker Melton, the starter, and Trey Miles lit up the scoreboard — and the visiting Smiths Station Panthers — Friday night, combining for four passing touchdowns in just one half of play. Neither played in the third or fourth quarters, and the Red Devils won 44-0 over their rival.

The only thing that stopped the duo from inflicting more damage was the lopsided score they helped create. And the only thing that stopped the Red Devils offense was the second-half running clock.

The game was never close. Melton’s opening-drive interception was, really, the only gaffe in a near-perfect first half for the Red Devils. They led 44-0 before the third quarter.

Random order

There’s no specified time in the game at which DuBose will change quarterbacks. He said he likes to stick with the “hot hand,” and pointed out when he stuck with now-LSU Tiger Peter Parrish in last year’s Alabama Class 7A state championship game.

Melton and Miles made things easy Friday night.

“We let it roll,” DuBose said. “We’ve got different things we do with each one of them. If it gets down to a big ball game, we’ll go with the hot hand. Last year, at the beginning of the year, Tucker played more than (Parrish) at the time, because he had the hot hand. Right now, Trey is playing really well. Tucker is too, though. And that also pushes you to get better.”

Melton finished 10-of-15 for 137 yards and one touchdown. Miles threw for 96 yards and three scores on six completions. The Red Devils put up 298 yards of total offense, 236 of those coming through the air.

Getting in a rhythm

Rotating quarterbacks makes it challenging to find a synced rhythm. Central might be the exception, though.

The Red Devils sit at 2-1 now and nearly beat Hoover in their season opener, save for a fumble at the Hoover 5-yard line. They beat Georgia powerhouse Cedar Grove last week.

Smiths’ secondary gave Central’s receivers at least 15 yards of cushion each snap. So that made things a bit easier.

“It is difficult (to get in a rhythm) at times, but when you’re having fun and playing football, you’re not really thinking about getting into a rhythm,” Melton said. “You’re just thinking about making the throws.

The two look to be having quite the time. There’s no trash talk between the two, Miles said, just fun, friendly competition.

Melton crashed Miles’ interview, saying “‘Trigger Trey’ for MVP!”

Opening up the offense

Melton and Miles bring different abilities to the Red Devils’ offense. Melton is more of a pocket passer, but can scramble when needed, and he showcased that a few times Friday night.

Miles is more of a dual-threat quarterback who can open up the game with his legs.

Rotating between the two allows DuBose to keep opposing defenses on their heels. So far, it’s worked quite well.

“We feed off each other,” Miles said. “(Melton) is a great mentor. I learn from him every day. We feed off each other, we learn off each other.”

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Joshua Mixon is a reporter for the Ledger-Enquirer. He covers sports (Auburn and preps) and local news, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America. He previously covered Georgia athletics for the Telegraph. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshDMixon.