High School Football

A statement game for Central High? Grizzlies roll past Buchanan in TRAC opener

Central vs. Buchanan filled with action and enthusiasm before one team pulled away

Buchanan gave Central a fight early but the Grizzlies showed they were the better bears, with a 42-24 win.
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Buchanan gave Central a fight early but the Grizzlies showed they were the better bears, with a 42-24 win.

This time, the matchup between Nos. 1 and 2 in Central Section high school football wasn’t close.

Trent Tompkins threw five touchdowns as The Bee’s top-ranked Central Grizzlies rolled past No. 2 Buchanan 42-24 in a Tri-River Athletic Conference showdown Friday night at Central’s Deran Koligan Stadium.

It was the Grizzlies’ third straight win over the Bears, after beating them 28-27 last regular season and 29-7 for the school’s first section Division I title.

Buchanan (4-2, 0-1) was coming off a 31-24 loss to national powerhouse De La Salle-Concord last week. Central (6-0, 1-0) was coming off a bye after rolling through a nonleague schedule with an average score of 51-9.

“I feel a lot of people said we have a weak schedule,” Tompkins said. “We had to go out there and play good and make a statement.”

Teammate Milton Clements, who had a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, concurred.

“This is a statement game,” Clements said. “This is the team we played last year and it was a tough win and then we played them in the Valley. I feel like this is a game that will really boost our team confidence and go out and do it some more.”

Clements said he believes his team “can be the best in the state as long as we do our jobs and stay disciplined.”

Cal-Hi Sports had the Grizzlies at No. 10 this week and Buchanan at No. 17.

It was Central’s 12th straight win in the stout TRAC. The Grizzlies haven’t lost a TRAC game since 2015 – a 33-14 loss to Clovis West.

Tompkins has 106 career passing touchdowns, trailing Central Section record-holder and former Farmersville star Sam Metcalf who finished with 142, according to section historian Bob Barnett.

“I’m just trying to win,” Tompkins said. “I want to give my guys the ball. I feel like I didn’t do a good job getting my guys the ball today. I feel really bad that I could’ve got more, but I’m really happy for this team win. I feel like everything clicked tonight.”

Elsewhere in the TRAC

Clovis 27, Clovis East 20 — The No. Cougars (5-1, 1-0) withstood a 20-point rally by the Timberwolves (3-3, 0-1) at Lamonica Stadium.

Central hosts Clovis next week.

Clovis North 42, Clovis West 40 — The Broncos (2-3, 1-0) made a goal-line stand to keep the game tied in regulation then went on to beat the Golden Eagles (0-6, 0-1) in double overtime when Clovis East’s two-point try came up short.

Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, @agalaviz_TheBee