WILLISTON – The victory formation and subsequent kneel-downs may have been unfamiliar to Cody Brooks, but Central’s senior quarterback handled them like he’d been there before.
At the same time, many of his teammates enthusiastically jumped up and down on the sidelines like they hadn’t.
Either way, just being in that position – preseason classic or not – felt good, as Central defeated host Williston, 14-9, on Friday night.
“This is awesome,” first-year Central head coach Chris Sands said. “These guys haven’t won a game in three years, and for it to be my first game and we get a win, it feels great.
“As coaches we didn’t do anything special, didn’t bring any magic dust. These kids just played their tails off.”
Winless since a 28-17 victory at Wildwood on Sept. 7, 2012, the Bears put on a strong performance against the Red Devils and former CHS coach Cliff Lohrey, in his first season at Williston.
Leading the way was De’Vonta Smith. The sophomore tailback carried 24 times for 128 yards while also catching three passes for 13 yards.
“The sky is the limit for him,” said Sands, who also got a passing and a rushing touchdown from Brooks. “De’Vonta could really bust out. He came out and carried the load for us, and we believe we will get a lot out of him this year.
“He works so hard, and his growth this summer was amazing. He wants to be great. He’s only going to get better.”
Central’s defense also proved opportunistic, forcing seven turnovers (five on fumbles) and six punts.
“We shot ourselves in the foot a few times, but give (the Bears) credit, they did what they needed to do to win,” Lohrey said. “We really didn’t.”
Central 14, Williston 9
Qtr. Scoring 1 2 4 4
CEN 7 7 0 0 - 14
WILL 0 7 0 2 - 9
CEN – Brooks 1 run (kick good)
WILL – White 28 pass from Battles (kick good)
CEN – Wyatt 21 pass from Brooks (kick good)
WILL – Safety (Fumbles through back of end zone)
First Downs 13 13
Atts./Rushing Yards 35-144 48-120
Comps./Pass/Atts/Int. 10-25-1 4-15-2
Passing Yds. 108 56
Total Offense 45-252 52-176
Punts/Avg. 4-31 6-37.3
Fumbles/Lost 2-2 9-5
Penalties 9-55 5-75