York, PA - Central York's pregame demeanor was a bit unnerving to coach Brad Livingston Friday night. He knows his team well, but he wasn't so sure. They were being eerily quiet.
Unprepared emotionally? Livingston wondered.
Not at all.
The Panthers were just prepared to let their game do all the talking in a 54-13 blowout against visiting South Western.
"Sometimes we just get into that kind of mood where we just like to chill out and wait for game time for it all to come out," senior running back Marquis Fells said. "Tonight, I was a little nervous about it, too, but we came out and did what we had to do to get this win."
Fells was one of the loudest talkers, scoring three rushing touchdowns and returning a fumble 35 yards for another score to put the game well out of hand.
Of the Panthers eight touchdowns, five of them came from the rushing game. But it was the passing game that started it all.
After intercepting South Western on its opening drive, senior quarterback Corey Hartz quickly hit Darian Hampton for an 85-yard touchdown pass on the Panthers second play from scrimmage. Hartz finished the game with four completions on six attempts for 120 yards and a touchdown. He had a 31-yard rushing touchdown, too.
Turnovers were a huge issue for the Mustangs. They lost three fumbles and threw the costly interception in the opening drive.
After the Panthers marched down the field and scored on a 15-yard run by Fells on their next possession, the Mustangs fumbled on first down. Fells added a 7-yard touchdown run 42 seconds later.
Last week it was the Panthers who made the costly mistakes, losing the game and the turnover battle to Spring Grove. They were determined to change that on Friday.
Although they were a bit lucky, too.
Fells dropped the handoff three times, but the ball hit the turf and bounced right back up into his hands.
"I don't know what was going on. The ball was slippery, and we had to switch the ball. Corey (Hartz) dropped one, too," Fells said. "These are new gloves, too, so I don't know."
The point was moot.
Fells didn't crack 100 yards rushing, finishing with 96 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries, but he didn't play much in the fourth quarter. As a team, the Panthers rushed for 265 yards, dispersed among 10 different backs and 37 carries.
"I was pleasantly surprised with the way we came out of the locker room. I thought it was really hard to tell what our kids were like in pregame," Livingston said. "We didn't seem to have a lot of emotion, so when we came out of the locker room we were a little bit concerned that we were not emotionally into the game, but obviously they were. They came out and played really well."
So. Western 0 7 0 6 -- 13
Central 20 20 7 7 -- 54
CY -- Darian Hampton 85 pass from Corey Hartz (Kyle Smith kick), 9:41
CY -- Marquis Fells 15 run (Smith kick), 4:36
CY -- Fells 7 run (run fail), 3:54
CY -- Fells 2 run (pass fail), 10:36
SW -- Dillon Thomas 4 run (Jake Tracy kick), 4:08
CY -- Hartz 31 run (Smith kick), 2:05
CY -- Fells 35 fumble return (Smith kick), 1:35
CY -- Jay Stone 65 run (Smith kick), 11:42
CY -- Terrance Carter 47 pass from Zach Beam (Smith kick), 7:34
SW -- Camden Brown 3 run (kick fail), :33
-- SW -- CY
First downs -- 8 -- 19
Rushes-yards -- 37-143 -- 37-265
Passing -- 6-11-1 -- 6-9-1
Passing yards -- 92 -- 179
Total yards -- 235 -- 444
Fumbles-lost -- 3-3 -- 5-0
Penalties-yards -- 2-10 -- 4-45
Rushing -- South Western, Mike Duffy 3-22, Dillon Thomas 17-82, Brady Schultz 1-5, Bobby Wildasin 1-1, Dakotah Moses 5-22, Wyatt Trostle 2-(-5), Zach Osborne 4-14, Tyler Sterner 1-(-6), Camden Brown 3-8; Central York, Marquis Fells 14-96, Zach Steffee 4-14, Corey Hartz 3-44, Jay Stone 4-56, Sherief Sutton 4-35, Terrance Carter 4-10, Zach Beam 1-(-3), Pearson Hinkle 1-3, Max Haldeman 1-2, Jonas Tucker-Alleyne 1-8.
Passing -- South Western, Mike Duffy 1-3-1-3, Tyler Sterner 4-7-0-37, Ryan Lane 0-0-0-0, Ryan Krebs 1-1-0-52; Central York, Corey Hartz 4-6-1-120, Zach Beam 2-3-0-59, Max Haldeman 0-0-0-0.
Receiving -- South Western, Bobby Wildasin 1-3, Jordan Markle 2-9, Jerome Robinson 2-28, Brandon McMinn 1-52; Central York, Darian Hampton 2-96, Nate Trona 1-16, Blue Curry 1-8, Zane Knaub 1-12; Terrance Carter 1-47.