DANVILLE — Champaign Central couldn’t stop Devin Miles on Friday night.
And Maroons coach Tim Turner didn’t even see the Vikings junior running back pull off a game-changing fourth-quarter play.
On a fake punt on fourth down, Miles took the ball in his hands and chugged more than 20 yards to Champaign Central’s 7-yard line, leaving Turner to watch as Miles punched it into the end zone on the very next play. Danville used that play, along with several other big ones in the fourth quarter, to pull away for a 52-27 win in Big 12 play at Whitesell Field.
“We had them bottled up and they faked the punt on us, and I think it changed the complexity of the game,” Turner said. “I think that was the turning point in this game and allowed them to gain a little bit of momentum we were never able to catch up with.”
Miles opened the night of scoring for the Vikings (4-2, 3-2) with a 40-yard touchdown run that accounted for the bulk of points in the first half, as Danville’s homecoming crowd enjoyed a 10-0 halftime lead.
The Maroons (3-3, 3-2) quickly energized the stadium with Tarell Evans taking a reversal on the second-half kickoff and returning it 90 yards for a touchdown. It ignited 10 touchdowns between the two teams during the final two quarters, but Central could never quite catch up to Danville.
“We continue to get better, and that’s what we’re looking for, how much better we get each week,” Danville coach Marcus Forrest said. “Offensively and defensively, we’re playing the way we want to play, which is a physical game. We’re tackling, we’re blocking (and) we’re running hard. Everything we want them doing.”
Evans caught a 31-yard scoring pass, rushed 61 yards up the middle for a touchdown and crossed the goal line on a two-point conversion to lead the Maroons on the night, but even a late 62-yard touchdown pass from Jabali Maatuka to Connor Milton couldn’t compete with the Vikings’ two-headed rushing attack.
Big-play runs remained a theme all night for Miles, who nearly eclipsed 100 rushing yards in the first half and finished his night with four touchdowns carrying the ball. Freshman backfield counterpart Ja’Marion Clark also rushed for a pair of scores — from 24 and 36 yards — and burst through big holes in the Maroons’ defense.
“The more we give (Miles) to do, the more engaged he is,” Forrest said. “He’s a kid who can run for 300 yards but still is ready to fly around and play defense, that wants to jump around and play special teams. He just loves football.”
Tigers end skid. Urbana went all of 2018 without a win. And the Tigers started out the 2019 season without a win through their first five games.
That narrative changed on Friday night, with the visiting Tigers earning a 22-12 win at Centennial in Big 12 action.
Patrick Jordan rushed for two touchdowns to spark Urbana (1-5, 1-4 Big 12), including a vital one in the fourth quarter with the Tigers leading 16-12, and Urbana snapped a 14-game losing streak with the win at Tommy Stewart Field.
Kenny Tran led Centennial (0-6, 0-6) with 60 rushing yards and Josh Taylor added 51 rushing yards, including a touchdown.