Tavares 35, Central 22
Spring game-breakers: After an opening drive in which they lost 7 yards on offense, Central began to show some of the signs of life that new coach Chris Sands was hoping for. Although the numbers weren’t eye-popping, Bears quarterback Cody Brooks had some time in the pocket (10-of-31, 187 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions) and did well when he scrambled (17 carries, 104 yards, one touchdown). …RB Da’Vonte Bates (nine carries, 52 yards, two catches, 3 yards), ATH Breon Wyatt (two catches, 58 yards, one touchdown) and WR/DB Emmanuel Scott (three catches, 61 yards, one touchdown) showed some speed to open up holes for the Bears, and Wyatt and Scott did the job defensively when each picked off Tavares quarterbacks in the first half. …Defensively, Central started well, but missed many tackles in the second half. The Bulldogs racked up 318 yards on the ground, including four-touchdown effort from RB Ezekiel Thomas (11 carries, 138 yards). …The unit did have a clutch goal-line stand in the fourth quarter, led by linebackers Chris Hernandez and John Templar. Templar also blocked an extra-point attempt in the first quarter.
Did you know? Sands is surrounded by an experienced coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Mykel Benson was Sands’ roommate at Florida A&M, and is currently a fullback for the San Antonio Talons in the Arena Football League. Benson actually had to leave immediately following Central’s game Friday night because the Talons have a game at home against the New Orleans Voodoo. …Associate head coach Jeff Woods has experience at a number of big college programs, on staff at Southern Methodist, Florida State, Georgia Tech and FAMU. Woods will serve as the team’s strength and conditioning coach in addition to being Sands’ right-hand man.
Audible 1: “Once we get our timing right and everything, we’re going to be scoring touchdowns and winning games. Everybody has come together more this year than they have in past years, and that’s going to help us on the field.” — Brooks
Audible 2: “The first thing people told me about (Cody Brooks) was that he was injury prone. I like to make those kinds of judgments for myself, and Cody is a tough kid.” — Sands