Jaylon Johnson returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown on the third play and Central received eight touchdowns from eight different players while mauling Frontier 59-17 Friday night at Koligian Stadium.
Sophomore Trent Tompkins completed 15 of 19 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns without an interception for The Fresno Bee’s third-ranked Grizzlies (3-1), who at halftime had a 42-3 lead and 237-75 advantage in total yards.
Coming off a 38-0 win at then-No. 1 Liberty-Bakersfield, the Central Section’s defending Division I champion, Central has outscored three opponents 128-32 since a season-opening 24-3 loss to Bullard.
“These kids have bought in and are dialed in, and that’s nice,” said Grizzlies first-year coach Kyle Biggs. “We had a good week of practice, and that’s where it all starts with these kids.”
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They were supported by a standing-room-only crowd of 3,000 on the west bleachers on homecoming.
The atmosphere promises to change in a big way for Central next Friday when it visits two-year reigning D-II champion Ridgeview, which is ranked No. 8.
Frontier (1-3) of the Southwest Yosemite League had no answers for Biggs’ up-tempo offense, which scored on runs by Austin Bebout, Mathew Mendoza, Chief Enunwa and Montrel Garner, and catches by Jacob Torrez and Jagade Bishop, and a 99-yard kickoff return from Kev’vion Schrubb.
That was in addition to the theft by Johnson, a cornerback who has established a college short list of USC, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Georgia and Utah.
And to think Central played without starting running back Diotry Brewer and starting offensive tackles Dominic Padilla and Kirby Peine to injuries. All are expected to return soon.
Brewer was replaced by sophomore Bebout, who carried 17 times for 98 yards, and juniors Jordan Tavita and Eric Martinez stepped in with authority at tackle.
Tompkins, meanwhile, dealt from a ridiculously thick deck of offensive personnel.
“It just makes my job so much easier,” he said. “I’m grateful for my offense. And our defense does such a great job, they just make our offense look better.”
Left-footed Tiago Paim made all eight of his conversion kicks in addition to a 31-yard field goal.
Frontier’s touchdown in the third quarter came on Tanner Brancato’s fumble recovery in the end zone following a bad snap by Central in punt formation. Frontier also scored on Connor Gettman’s 8-yard run in the fourth quarter.