Third-ranked Rams run roughshod over Century in a first-round playoff matchup
Century earned its inclusion in the Class 6A state football playoffs by winning a play-in game against South Salem, but the bracket makers did the Jaguars no favors by matching them up against No. 3 Central Catholic in the first round.
The undefeated Rams made short work of Century last Friday night, racing to a four-touchdown lead in the first quarter and cruising to a 55-7 victory at Hillsboro Stadium.
Central Catholic improved to 10-0 this season and advanced to a state quarterfinal matchup tonight against McNary (6-4). Centurys season ended at 3-8.
While wins were hard to come by this season, the Jaguars 43-40 upset of South Salem two weeks ago earned them a spot in the 32-team state playoff bracket despite finishing tied for sixth in the Pacific Conference. As the third lowest-ranked team in the field, however, it also earned the Jags a date with unbeaten Central Catholic in the first round.
Fridays playoff opener was decidedly one-sided from the outset, with Central Catholic surging to a 28-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and stretching the margin to 42-7 at halftime.
The lone bright spot for Century was a 9-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter from Marcos Hernandez to Ton Catandella that came after a big fourth-down stop by the Jaguars defense.
That score briefly cut the deficit to 28-7, but Cameron Scarlett returned the ensuing kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown and Central Catholic never looked back.
The Jags were done in by big plays all night, beginning with Central Catholics first offensive play from scrimmage. After Century punter Tyson Hopkins pinned the Rams at their own 7-yard line, quarterback Aidan Wilder connected with Scarlett on a 93-yard touchdown pass, staking the Rams to a 7-0 lead in the blink of an eye.
Century fumbled away its next possession and Central Catholic quickly capitalized, with Ryan Nall busting a 15-yard touchdown run on the first play after the turnover. With less than five minutes played, the Rams had run two offensive plays and led 14-0.
It was that kind of night for Century.
The Jaguars mounted a 10-play drive late in the first quarter, getting to the Central Catholic 23-yard line, but Hernandez was sacked on fourth down. The Rams threw a haymaker on the next play, with Wilder connecting on a 69-yard touchdown pass to Chase Cole that made the score 28-0.
Scarletts long kickoff return and a 45-yard scoring run by Wilder gave Central Catholic a 42-7 lead at halftime, and the Rams erased any doubt when Nall busted the third play of the second half for a 62-yard touchdown.
The discrepancy was evident in one glaring statistic for the game, Century ran 69 offensive plays and gained 162 yards (2.3 yards per play); Central Catholic ran 37 plays for 527 yards (14.2 per play).
Wilder completed 7-of-8 pass attempts for 261 yards a staggering 37.3 yards per completion and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 76 yards and another score. Nall led the rushing attack with 101 yards and two touchdowns on four carries, and Scarlett contributed 219 all-purpose yards.
For Century, Hernandez completed 9-of-21 passes for 102 yards, but the fleet-footed quarterback was held in check on the ground, rushing for minus-17 yards on 12 carries. Twin brother Daniel Hernandez gained 32 yards on seven carries and also had a 43-yard reception, and Oscar Rojas added 21 rushing yards. Carlos Trujillos Banuelas caught four passes for 51 yards.
Central Catholic will host McNary tonight for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Hillsboro Stadium.