SOUTH BEND — Too many turnovers, too many big plays allowed and not enough time.
Such was Central’s Class 5A sectional football trip to South Bend.
The Blue Blazers gave up 533 yards and 42 points in the second and third periods and lost 49-28 to resurgent South Bend Adams Friday night at Clay Field. Central ended its season at 6-5, including two setbacks to the Eagles, who’ll take a 7-4 record into next Friday’s sectional final with Carroll. The Chargers stunned Penn 14-13 at Freed Field.
Adams, minus two early forfeits because of ineligible players, looked every bit of the 9-2 team it is in games played.
“One of the things we talked about all the way along was we have to stop their big plays,” said ECHS coach Levon Johnson. They did a good job with hitting what they needed to hit. They’ve got big-play guys.”
Shaquille Vann proved to be the biggest pain in Central’s side.
The athletic junior wingback had a huge night with 194 rushing yards, including a dazzling 84-yard touchdown run, and he added four receptions out of the backfield for a team-leading 85 yards.
Tailback Gavin Miller added to the carnage by gashing Central’s interior line for 117 yards.
Defensively, Adams also benefitted from a 77-yard interception off a deflected Nick Faus, which gave the Eagles a 21-7 second-quarter lead.
Central rallied in the final four minutes of the half with a TD pass from Faus to JJ Stahl and a Joe Phillips run which tied the game at 21 by halftime.
That’s when the roof caved in on the Blazers.
“You’re right there, feeling good, we’ve got the ball coming out of halftime and we didn’t capitalize right away,” Johnson said. “They come out and two series in a row, just big plays. Then we’re starting to dig out of a hole which we thought we could do.”
Vann’s long scoring ignited a 21-point third quarter for the Eagles, who rushed for 307 yards.
Adams picked off Faus three times, but the Central signal-caller did connect with standout wideout Spencer Schnell 15 times for 221 yards. For the season, Schnell grabbed 101 passes, a ECHS record.
SB Adams 49, central 28
Scoring by Quarters
Central 7 14 7 0 — 28
Adams 0 21 21 7 — 49
School — Scoring Play
C — Spencer Schnell 7 pass from Nick Faus; Matt Eppers kick, 1:21.
A — Shaquille Vann 49 pass from Frankie Karczewski; Andrew Carrico kick, 11:17
A — Vann 21 run; Carrico kick, 8:45.
A — Kenan Boyd 77 interception return; Carrico kick, 6:11.
C — JJ Stahl 23 pass from Faus; Eppers kick, 3:45.
C — Joe Phillips 2 run; Eppers kick, 2:30
A — Vann 84 run; Carrico kick, 7:55.
A — Matthew Gray 28 pass from Karczewski; Carrico kick, 6:11.
A — Karczewski 1 run; Carrico kick, 2:55.
C — Phillips 1 run; Eppers kick, :50.
A — Matthew Pinter 10 pass form Karczewski; Carrico kick, 4:32.
Officials: Shawn Jenkins, Jamit Pluta, Pete Lestinsky, Tom Cook, Tim Farwig.
Team Statistics Cen SBA
Net yards rushing 73 307
Net yards passing 268 226
Total Yards 341 533
First Downs 16 19
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-2
Penalties 9-82 11-89
Central: Rushing — Akeem Purnell 16-42, Joe Phillips 8-31. Passing — Nick Faus 23-37-268 (3 int.). Receiving — Spencer Schnell 15-2221, JJ Stahl 2-29.
Adams: Rushing — Shaquille Vann 16-194, Gavin Miller 21-117. Passing — Frankie Karczewski 18-27-226 (1 int.). Receiving — Vann 4-85, Matthew Pinter 4-61, Matthew Gray 4-58.