By James Adams
CINCINNATI – Centerville won handily for the second week in a row on the road, once again dominating with its running game.
The Elks ran the ball for 347 yards in a 42-14 win over Withrow at Agnus King Stadium on Friday, and were well in control by halftime, leading by 21.
Centerville (3-0) threw the ball just twice in the game, but the Elks’ lone completion was for a touchdown. Junior quarterback Will Vance hit senior running back Nick Bozzo for a 30-yard score.
Bozzo scored two other times in the game, as he rushed for 89 yards on nine carries. Bozzo also handled the kickoffs, extra points and punt and kickoff returns.
Withrow (2-1) managed to hang around in the first half and at one point trailed by just one score, but the Division I pulled away with consecutive scores before halftime.
“They a very athletic team. Very good,” Elks coach Ron Ullery said. “I’d be surprised if they lose another game.”
Withrow was able to move the ball on occasion, but injuries and penalties hurt the Tigers’ offense. They were whistled for eight penalties for 73 yards.
Centerville was not penalized.
Withrow also lost starting senior quarterback Malik Bland half way through the game after he had thrown for 194 yards, completing 9 of his 12 attempts. Junior Tra’von Barnes would move from tight end to finish the game under center.
“Bland is one heck of a quarterback,” Centerville senior defensive end Alex Rado said. “Bland is more of a passing threat, where as Barnes isn’t as experienced as him but our defensive backs picked it up and our defensive line got more pressure.”
Senior running back Justice Peyton had been a major factor in the Tigers’ two wins this year, but was held to just four yards rushing against the Elks’ front, though he did add his seventh touchdown of the year.
“As a defense we’ve got to play physical and hit them in the mouth,” Rado said. “If we make a mistake, make it going hard.”
Centerville had won its previous two contests behind big games from junior running back Damian Popp, but Friday the Elks proved that they can rely on their big offensive line regardless of the ball carrier.
“We have all kind of talent in the backfield,” said Centerville senior offensive lineman Jared Weyler, who has committed to Bowling Green. “As long as we’re doing our job and they’re doing their job we’ll put up big numbers.”
Centerville will look to extend its winning streak when it heads home to host Lebanon (2-1) next week. Withrow will try to pick up its first home win next week when the Tigers host Taft (1-1).
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