Kevin Kanaar rushed for 132 yards and three touchdowns to lead emotionally charged Central High past Hawthorne 39-0 in a non-district football game Thursday night. Kanaar and teammate Chris Carrington spent halftime of the game standing behind the wheelchair of one of their best friends, former Bears linebacker and running back Chuck Hackney.
School officials retired the No. 44 jersey worn by Hackney, who was paralyzed in a July 4 accident while working as a lifeguard at Buccaneer Bay water park in Weeki Wachee Spring. Hackney left his room at the Tampa General Rehabilitation Center to attend the game.
"It didn't feel like a normal game at all," Kanaar said of the game played on the night of what several Hernando County government bodies declared Chuck Hackney Day. "In the second half I just said, "Coach, give me that ball. I'm pumped up.' "
Kanaar scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter and on runs of 16 and 28 yards in the third quarter. The senior fullback carried the ball 19 times, including 11 rushes for 102 yards in the second half.
Tyrone Goodson scored two first-quarter touchdowns, one on a 56-yard pass from quarterback Alex DeGracia and the other on an 80-yard interception return.
Steve Roundtree scored on a 9-yard reverse and Joel Holiway added three point-after kicks to round out the Bears' scoring.
The independent Bears snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 5-2. Hawthorne, which has been outscored 222-18 this season, fell to 0-8.
Central held Hawthorne to just 16 net yards rushing and 74 yards of total offense. The Hornets were intercepted four times, twice by Kevin Alexsuk, and forced to punt 10 times.
Hawthorne's Adam Sylvia rushed 13 times for a team-high 58 yards. The Central defense continually sacked Hornet quarterbacks Cecil Brown and Donald Taylor, who combined for negative-42 yards rushing.