LEON — Central Decatur overcame an 18-6 halftime deficit, controlling the second half of play in a 33-26 win over Interstate 35 here on Friday.
The Cardinals improved to 2-0 for the season, while Interstate 35 drops to 0-2.
Interstate 35 took advantage of five Central Decatur turnovers in the first half in mounting the 18-6 lead.
“We probably feel pretty lucky we were that close,” Central Decatur head coach Jon Pedersen said. “We gave them the ball two or three times in the red zone. They came out really aggressive and played well. I was impressed with how well they played. We made some adjustments at halftime and our energy got up. We played real well after that.”
The Cardinals scored 27 unanswered points in the second half to build a 33-18 lead.
Senior Wyman Reed did the bulk of the damage for Central Decatur’s potent rushing attack, accumulating 176 yards on 26 carries. He averaged nearly seven yards per carry.
“Wyman Reed had a heck of a night,” Pedersen said. “What made everything flow for us was Wyman’s running. He’s a good, balanced kid. He carried 26 times, so obviously we were going to him and he was getting stronger and stronger as the game went on.”
Reed never found the end zone in the game, but Trenton Wells crossed the goal line a total of five times — four times running the ball and once on a punt return.
“Trenton Wells made big plays for us,” Pedersen said. “Maybe the biggest play of the game was a punt they had, it was a short punt and everyone got out of the way. Trenton ran up and got it on the run and scored a touchdown. That got our momentum going.”
Wells carried the ball 15 times for 80 yards.
For Central Decatur, the defensive game plan started with containing Interstate 35 quarterback Briar Vogel.
But, Pedersen also knew the Roadrunners had other players who could change the game.
“We knew they had three gamebreakers between Jaylan White, Briar Vogel and Alex Middleton,” he said. “We knew we were going to have our hands full with that. They’re able to hit you in a lot of different spots in the run game. Where they hit us a couple of times was on deep passes. The whole idea is to keep Briar under control. He’s a really good athlete.”
Vogel was held in check throwing the ball, finishing 4-of-21 passing for 85 yards and one touchdown before leaving the game with an injury in the fourth quarter. He ran the ball 14 times for 58 yards prior to leaving.
Jaylan White replaced Vogel at quarterback and finished 3-of-6 for 25 yards and one score. White picked up 56 yards rushing on six carries with one score.
Middleton carried the ball 20 times for 61 yards and one score. Zach Goering led the team in receiving with three catches for 80 yards.
Defensively, the Roadrunners were led by Middleton’s eight tackles, including two for loss. Zach Irelan and Lonnie Harper each finished with seven tackles. Goering, Vogel and White each recorded one interception.
Central Decatur was led by Peyton Gilbert’s eight tackles, while Monty Dowell finished with six.
“I thought our defensive line played well, and our offensive line took control in the second half,” Pedersen said.
Central Decatur travels to Pella Christian (1-1) Friday for the district opener. Interstate 35 hosts Davis County (0-2) in its district opener on Friday.