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Straughn stomps Central

Straughn’s football team made sure its alumni had a “home sweet homecoming” Friday night, crushing the visiting Central-Hayneville Lions, 62-16.

Straughn broke out to a 40-0 lead before the visitors broke onto the scoreboard late in the second half. Straughn led 54-6 at halftime and out-gained Central, 278 yards (all rushing) to 69 yards, in the first half.

The win broke a two-game losing streak for Straughn (3-3, 3-1 in Class 3A, Region 1).

“We really needed a game like this,” Straughn coach Trent Taylor said. “We were able to get a lot of the young guys in the game and give them a chance to play.”

Straughn junior Eric Samuel played his first game of the 2009 season, after missing the previous five weeks with an injury. Samuel finished with 10 carries for 69 yards and three touchdowns.

“It’s nice for us to have some depth at the fullback position now,” Taylor said. “With the offense we run, those guys take a constant beating, so it’s nice to be able to rotate guys in and keep them healthy.”

Samuel scored a 7-yard touchdown and Colten Lewis added a two-point conversion run to put Straughn up 8-0 with 9:25 left in the first quarter. The Tigers’ defense forced Central into a fourth-and-19 from the Straughn 44, and the Lions failed to convert.

On the very next play, Shawn O’Neal broke free on the left side for a 71-yard touchdown run with 3:20 left in the quarter. Samuel added the two-point conversion run.

Samuel added a 21-yard touchdown run with 1:34 left in the quarter, and also caught a two-point conversion pass from Luke Short. Short later scored in the second half with a 1-yard touchdown run, after he faked the handoff to Samuel.

In the second quarter, O’Neal had a 14-yard rushing touchdown and Samuel added a 5-yard touchdown run. Straughn also scored points on two Central botched snaps. On one bad snap, Central’s Kentarrian Gordon recovered the ball in the end zone for a safety. Also, Straughn’s Kyle Pickrel recovered a bad snap in the endzone for a touchdown, which made the score 54-6 with 33 seconds left in the second quarter.

The two head coaches agreed to shorten the second half’s quarters to 6 minutes each. Straughn’s only points of the second half came when Short ran for a 5-yard touchdown with 1:50 left in the game. Garrett Goodson added the two-point conversion run.

Central’s three touchdowns came on a 1-yard run by Rasheed Miles and a 31-yard run and 25-yard run by Danny Dudley.

The 62 points were the most ever scored by Straughn.

Straughn travels to Letohatchee next Friday to face Calhoun (1-5, 1-3) in a region contest. SHS is currently tied with Bayside Academy for second place in Region 1.

“Right now we control our own destiny, as far as qualifying for the playoffs,” Taylor said. “That’s all you can ask for.”