The Central Rockets (5-1, 2-0) were not too welcoming to the Norland Vikings in their first District 16-6A match at Traz Powell. It was the first time The Rockets and Vikings (2-5, 1-2) had met since 2008.
In front of a half-full stadium, Central leaped to a 21-0 first-quarter lead on rushing touchdowns by Dalvin Cook, Keith Reed and Malik Adams each.
“We came out a lot sharper,” Central coach Roland Smith said. “The kids have really been focused … and every week we get better.”
Central more than tripled Norland’s total yardage 467 to 88 in the win.
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The game was played with a running clock and reinforced why they have been pegged “unstoppable” since last season.
The Rockets doubled their lead (42-0) and earned a running clock by halftime. Spurred by the play of defensive lineman Carlin Clark the defense collected three sacks and forced an interception heading into the half.
Stunned offensively by Central, the Vikings were held to only one first-down in the first half.
The Vikings skirted a shutout on a 1-yard push by Khalil Murat into the end zone midway through the third quarter, but it was more for pride than purpose.
The relentless and somewhat elusive Rockets running back, Joseph Yearby — a University of Miami commit — amassed 78 yards and two touchdowns, including a 2-yard scamper where he hopped over a Norland defender into the end zone.
Next Central will face Northwestern, which appears to be in a battle with four other district teams for second place. Central is headed for another district sweep and clear cut path into the playoffs, but Smith said they are not looking too far ahead.
“Northwestern is going to bring some pride,” Smith said. “You throw the records out the window when you play them.”