Central brings special attention to scoring attack in 61-23 win after hearing much about dangerous Sharks.
By EMILY NIPPS
Published October 16, 2004
BROOKSVILLE - After a week of hearing about the threat of Nature Coast Tech's offense, Central coach John Wilkinson couldn't wait to use three threats of his own to quell any talk of the Sharks dominating the yardage.
While Nature Coast running back Rian Williams was the leading rusher with 189 yards on 40 carries, it was the Bears' balance that led them to a 61-23 victory. Central's Anthony Gaynor, DuJuan Harris and Gary Owen each rushed for more than 120 yards, and quarterback Shane Collard connected with two different receivers for three touchdowns.
"I wanted to spread it around," Wilkinson said. "All the talk's been about their offense, and I wanted to show we had offense, too. Our kids work hard and wanted to score points."
The game was Nature Coast's first this season against a Hernando County team and circled by both squads as a heated rivalry match. Many of the players know each other, and there were a lot of taunts exchanged leading up to Friday night.
Central had the obvious goal to shut down Williams, but when it proved to be harder than the Bears may have thought, they turned their minds to the scoreboard. Central had a 41-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
The Bears finished with 489 total yards. The Sharks had 215. Gaynor led Central with 145 yards on 14 carries (one touchdown), and Owen had 142 yards on nine attempts (two TDs). Harris produced 126 yards on 13 carries and scored twice.
Sharks coach Jamie Joyner said despite the loss, he was proud of his kids for showing class during and after the game. "Our guys, they never quit," Joyner said. "They do everything we ask of them, and I know their hard work is eventually going to pay off."