By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
Still stinging from a loss that knocked them out of first place in the district, the Indians were eager to get back on the field.
And when they did, they delivered a devastating performance against one of their long-time rivals.
Madison Central (6-3, 2-1 district) got four touchdowns from Dominique Hawkins (three rushing, one punt return) and two scores from Ken-Jah Bosley and rolled to a 50-18 win over winless Clark County (0-9, 0-3) Friday on the road. The Indians found the end zone seven times in the first half and had a 44-point lead at halftime.
“I think our kids really took out their aggression from last week,” Central coach Bert Browne said of last week’s 21-0 loss to Lafayette. “They had a good week of practice and did some good things. I was proud of them. They played awfully well.”
Even after that loss to Lafayette in Lexington, the Indians went into the game with Clark County still having a chance to win the district title.
But, they needed some help.
And they didn’t get it.
Lafayette wrapped up the championship and a No. 1 seed in the Class 6A Playoffs with a 28-14 win at home over Tates Creek. Central finishes second in the district and will play DuPont Manual at home in the opening round of the playoffs.
Central was in charge from the beginning against the Cards.
The Indians had two defensive scores (a safety and a fumble return), a punt return for a score, three rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns in the first half. Central ran only 20 offensive plays in the first half and had the ball for only 6:57, but averaged more than 12 yards a snap.
The Indians took a 50-6 lead into halftime.
“We just did what we needed to do,” Hawkins said. “We worked harder in practice and it pays off when you put in the time. The results showed on the scoreboard.”
The Indians had averaged more than 44 points a game during a three-game winning streak, but they were shutout last week at Lafayette. The Generals limited Central to a season-low 252 total yards.
The Indians had 253 yards of offense in the first half against Clark County and scored on all seven of their possessions.
After failing to convert on all four red zone chances last week at Lafayette, the Indians turned all four trips inside the Clark County 20-yard line in the first half into touchdowns. Senior quarterback Hunter Stocker completed six-of-eight passes in the first half for two TDs and 165 yards. Bosley had five catches for 150 yards.
“This was our best game,” Hawkins said of the offense. “The passing game and the running game were working.”
The Cardinals carried an 11-game losing streak into the game, but were coming off perhaps their best all-around performance of the season. Clark County had a 14-point first-half lead before Tates Creek rallied for a 46-39 win in Lexington.
But, the Indians set the tone right away.
On just the second play from scrimmage, Central’s Paul Couch sacked Clark County quarterback Luke Sharrock in the end zone for a safety.
“That just set us way off,” Central senior defensive lineman Brandon Parks said. “That made everyone just get up even more and get more hyped.”
Just three minutes later, Hawkins capped a 7-play, 77-yard drive with a 6-yard TD run. Then with 5:30 left in the first quarter, Bosley stripped the ball away from Darian Skinner and went 47-yard down the left sideline untouched to put Central up 16-0.
With 2:52 left in the first quarter, Hawkins scored on a 64-yard punt return. The senior got the ball on the right sideline, wiggled through several defenders, then cut back across the field and out-raced one last would-be tackler to the end zone.
“I had no idea I was going to break it,” Hawkins said. “I thought I was just going to run out of bounds. But, I saw a hole that I could run through and I ended up with a touchdown.”
After Clark County’s C.D. Spight scored on a 4-yard TD run, the Indians continued to pour it on.
Bosley caught a 45-yard TD pass from Stocker on the first play of the second quarter. Sam Jones caught a 15-yard TD pass from Stocker less than two minutes later after Central recovered a Clark County fumble.
Hawkins added a 10-yard TD run with 7:12 left in the half and a 4-yard TD run with 3:44 left before the break.
Central did get some bad news in the fourth quarter.
Bosley made a catch and was trying to pick up extra yardage when he took a big hit. The senior had to be helped off the field and did not return. The extent of his injury was not known after the game.
“He wanted to catch it and I wanted to throw it to him because he was having a great night,” Browne said. “He’s such warrior and it was a freak hit.”
Bosley finished with 149 yards receiving on six catches. Hawkins had 81 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Stocker was eight-of-10 for 182 yards and two touchdowns.
Blake Broaddas led Central with 11 tackles.
The Indians are set to wrap up the regular Friday at home against Knox Central.