Brusly seemingly captured momentum near the end of the first half, but the Central Wildcats held off the Panther charge in the second half to claim a 44-19 win at Wildcat Stadium Friday night in a non-district matchup.
Central (4-3) jumped held a 21-7 lead with 7:14 left before halftime, but Brusly (3-4) stormed back to cut the deficit to two points heading into halftime.
The second half was filled with pushing and shoving from each team with the referee crew frequently throwing flags for personal fouls and other infractions. The Panthers received the brunt of the penalties.
“The referees are supposed to control things out here and I’m not saying we’re perfect or anything like that,” said Brusly head coach Hoff Schooler. “We need to control our emotions and all, but it’s a tough game. It’s a physical game and that’s what it needs to be.”
Less than two minutes into the game, the Wildcats got on the scoreboard thanks to Samuel Kenerson’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Le’Derrick Thomas.
Central took a 14-0 advantage following Jonathan Swift’s 2-yard run with 11:19 left in the second quarter.
Trevon Snearl’s 59-yard touchdown run on the ensuing drive cut the deficit to 14-7. Nick Penell’s 24-yard run brought the Panthers to within eight points at 21-13 with 5:56 remaining before halftime. After the Brusly defense earned a stop and turned the ball back over to the offense, Penell capped off another drive with a touchdown run, this one from 12 yards away that trimmed the Central lead to 21-19.
Central scored midway through the third and tacked on two scores and a safety in the fourth quarter.
Brusly rushed for over 200 yards in the game, led by Snearl, who carried the ball seven times for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Kenerson completed 13-of-21 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns while Swift and Isiah Rankins combined for 155 yards rushing and four scores.
“We couldn’t catch a break in the second half, couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Schooler said. “We needed that big play to get us going again, just like in the first half. The same team came out on both sides of the ball. They (Central) didn’t do anything different or special.
“We’re a good football team,” he added. “People are going to look up and say 3-4, they lost four in a row and you’re not a good football team, but we’re a good football team and our kids are playing hard, our kids are tough, they're doing everything we ask them to do and we’re going to keep on doing that and we’re going to win some football games because of it.”
Brusly returns to district action next week with a home game against Glen Oaks.