Dynamic depth gives Central football the boost it needs
CAMP POINT, Ill. (WGEM) -
A statement win can swing the momentum of any high school football program and a statement win is exactly what Central got Friday night with a 20-point win over then fourth-ranked Brown County.
It was a season opening loss on the road against Calhoun, however, that had Brad Dixon and his Panthers searching for answers. But with five wins in their last six tries, the Panthers think they've found the answer to their questions with their depth on both sides of the ball.
"We're able to play about 20 guys in a game offensively and defensively and really rest guys that get tired," said Dixon.
"We allow our guys to play extremely hard on one side of the ball, get a little break on the other side and come back in. I think that's something that really hurt Brown County on Friday night."
"Some of the past few years we've had those couple of guys that we keep in the whole game," said junior running back and linebacker Chayse Houston.
"But being able to rotate keeps you fresh on defense, fresh on offense."
Meanwhile, with it's win over Brown County, Friday, Central secured it's fifth win and is now playoff eligible with two week remaining. However, thanks to a tiebreaker in the conference standings and because Central has allowed fewer points, the Panthers are the WIVC North bid the postseason.
For those keeping track at home, Central has now been playoff eligible for 10 straight years.
"It means a lot that we didn't stop the streak," said junior running back and defensive back Cole Williams.
"That's what you don't want, is your year, or any of your years, to lose that streak."
Despite turnover throughout the years, the Panthers have been able to remain stable throughout their decade of dominance.
"Every year you think you graduate a really good group but another group comes in and does what they need to do to make the playoffs," said Dixon.
"The last two years we haven't been successful in the playoffs so I think that's a huge goal this year. It's never our goal to just make it, it's our goal to make some noise in it."
Coming up for Central this week is a Greenfield team that is fighting for it's playoff life with four losses already.
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