Central Routs Holt in Coach Rodney Bivens’ Debut
The doors to the Central High School locker room were closed, but they couldn’t drown out the celebratory yelling and cheering of the Falcons players.
Moments later, first-year head coach Rodney Bivens strolled through those doors and broke into a smile. He had won his first game as the head coach of the Falcons, a 50-6 rout over the Holt Ironmen.
“We’re definitely excited about the win,” Bivens said. “It was fun being able to get back out here and play the game. … Right now we just hope that we continue to be safe. We’ll go back and evaluate the film and fine-tune details and look at some of the different things we have to clean up.”
Senior running back Markelious Furr was the centerpiece of Central’s offense on Senior Night, carrying the ball 28 times for 129 yards and four touchdowns. He picked up right where Javonta’ Leatherwood, the school’s all-time leading rusher who’s now a freshman at Alcorn State, left off last fall.
“That’s my boy,” Furr said. “But it’s just the next man up. When I knew it was my turn, I knew I had to take over. … It was incredible. I give all the credit to my line, though, because without them, I wouldn’t even have all four touchdowns.”
Furr’s longest run of the night was just 17 yards, but only two of his 28 carries lost yardage. All four of his touchdowns were from the 1- or 2-yard line.
Junior quarterback Peyton Batchelor had a rushing touchdown on a quarterback sneak and an 8-yard passing touchdown at the end of the first half. He completed 9 of 16 passes for 127 yards and did not throw an interception.
Holt’s lone score was a 46-yard catch-and-run on the final play before halftime. Quarterback Ziar Hutton was pressured in the pocket, scrambled, and checked down to his running back, who evaded multiple Central defenders before breaking free down the sideline.
Hutton completed 6 of 20 passes for 125 yards, tossing one touchdown and three interceptions. Holt coach Curtis Graves said he thought the offensive line protected Hutton well, but the offense missed some opportunities.
“I think he missed a few open guys,” Graves said. “I think he had a few jitters and he never calmed down until almost the third quarter. But that’s part of the game.”
Two of Hutton’s interceptions went to Central corner Christian Curtis. One of them appeared to be a 102-yard pick-six, but it was called back due to an illegal block in the back. His reward when he got back to the sideline was a chain with a large “C”.
Holt’s committee of running backs totaled 69 rushing yards on 21 carries.
Central’s final touchdown, which drew the most excited reaction from the sideline, was a 54-yard sprint by freshman running back Jarell Hodges.
Up next for Central is another cross-town matchup against Northridge, which defeated Sipsey Valley 45-6 on Friday night. Holt looks for its first win of the season on the road at Dora.