CHAMPAIGN — Would smaller muscles have kept Correyante Boyd from fumbling on Friday night’s opening drive?
“Probably,” Boyd answered, laughing after the fact on Tommy Stewart Field.
The Champaign Central senior running back had tried switching hands with the ball on a run in the first quarter and smacked it against his large bicep, popping it out of his fingers and into those of Centennial’s Terren Burton for a turnover.
But Boyd didn’t take long to make up for it, rushing for two first-half touchdowns to stake the Maroons to a hefty halftime lead before closing out a 51-19 against the Chargers.
Central senior rusher Tarrell Evans caught a 69-yard touchdown pass, while Drew Adams bookended the night with three straight touchdowns in the second half to push the Maroons’ lead to a comfortable distance.
Central coach Tim Turner said he didn’t need to do much other than put his arm around Boyd and tell him he trusted him moving forward, but the second-year Maroons coach lamented his team/s numerous mistakes that often ended up with their rivals holding the ball.
“We’ve just got to figure out a way to stop shooting ourselves in the foot,” Turner said. “It’s something that we’ve really got to work on this upcoming week, making sure we value the football. Because right now, we’re not valuing the football.”
No kidding, considering the Maroons (1-1, 1-0 Big 12) fumbled the ball away four times in the first three quarters, including once to set up Centennial quarterback Jalen Coleman for a 6-yard scoring run to get the Chargers (0-2, 0-2) on the board in the second quarter.
Centennial junior Josh Taylor later added a 74-yard touchdown run for the Chargers, splitting three defenders to cut up the sideline for the biggest play of the night for both teams.
Jack Young also caught a late 24-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback DeShawn Campbell.
“Simply put, we got better (Friday),” Chargers first-year coach Kyle Jackson said. “Obviously, it wasn’t the way we wanted to end up, but we fought same as last week until the end.”