CENTRAL HEIGHTS — Rogers took advantage of three turnovers and earned its second win in as many games by going on the road to knock off Central 30-13 in Class 4A, Region 8 play.
“It was a big win for us.” first-year head coach Randall Martin said. “We challenged our offensive line to dominate the line of scrimmage and that was the difference in the game.”
Behind that offensive line, the Pirates totaled 262 yards while the defense limited Central to 175.
Rogers (3-3, 2-2) scored the opening points when sophomore Kyle McCombs capped a 7-play, 64-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.
Central (4-2, 3-1) answered with 2:24 remaining in the first quarter. Running back Demarcio McCoy capped a 60-yard drive, which included two fourth-down conversions, with a 6-yard run to tie it at 7.
The Pirates regained the lead on the next drive when quarterback Austin Kerr scored on a 3-yard run.
A fumble recovery by Hank Thigpen returned the ball to Rogers and it took six plays for Kerr to connect with tight end Dustin Blackburn on a 15-yard touchdown strike that pushed the lead to 20-7.
Just four plays later, defensive back James Benefield intercepted a pass to set up a 23-yard field goal from Jacob Duncan to make it 23-7 at halftime.
Central drew within 10 in the fourth quarter as Evan McFall scored on a 1-yard run to cap an 18-play, 80-yard drive. McCoy was tackled short of the goal line on the 2-point conversion attempt.
Kerr again found Benefield in the final minutes with a 4-yard touchdown strike. Duncan’s extra point made it 30-13.
Kerr finished with 116 yards passing and 81 on the ground.
“Austin is our team leader.” Martin
“The kids really seem to rally around him. Our defense stepped up and played a great game tonight too. They created turnovers and we’re very proud of them.”
Senior Raleigh Killen anchored the Rogers defense with 18 tackles and a sack, while Benefield had a pair of interceptions and forced a fumble.