Top-ranked Central High has played with a purpose since losing last year’s Central Section football championship despite being the top seed.
It probably helps that Central has a greater comfort level playing its second season under Kyle Biggs after going through three coaches from 2014-16.
Whatever the driving force, the Grizzlies haven’t allowed more than seven points in any of their games.
The latest example came Friday in Central’s 30-3 nonleague victory over Liberty-Bakersfield at Koligian Stadium.
Central (3-0) allowed one first-half field goal in a matchup of powerhouses. Liberty entered the game No. 3 in The Bee’s coaches’ Top 10 poll.
The Grizzlies have outscored their first three opponents of 2017 – Bullard, Sunnyside and Liberty – by a combined 130-9.
And only Sunnyside has registered a touchdown, scored late in the second half after Central already owned a 56-0 lead.
The Grizzlies got on the scoreboard first against the Patriots, with Jacob Hollins returning an interception 44 yards for a touchdown.
Liberty mustered a 25-yard field goal with 5:24 remaining in the first quarter. That was a minor moral victory, marking the first time Central had given up a first-half point this season.
But the Grizzlies responded with 23 unanswered points, including a 15-yard touchdown pass from Trent Tompkins to David Brown to make it 17-3 going into halftime.
Tompkins wasn’t done.
Midway through the third quarter, Tompkins zipped a bullet to Tyrell Grayson and the receiver broke a tackle and raced upfield for a 47-yard touchdown.
Tompkins added a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Torrez to cap the night.
Liberty (1-1) didn’t play last week after all games in Kern County were canceled because of hot weather and poor air quality.
The Patriots had opened with a 31-30 win against current No. 5 Clovis West.