SAN ANGELO – Midland High and San Angelo Central traded punches Thursday as both teams’ running games were in the spotlight of a District 2-6A football game at San Angelo Stadium.
But the Bulldogs couldn’t keep up with the Bobcats’ ground attack.
Central scored 21 unanswered points in the second half and ran away with a 41-17 win over MHS.
Tyler Hill sprinted away from the Bulldog defense for an 86-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter, giving Central a three-score lead at 34-17, while converting a third-and-5 in the process.
The road woes for the Bulldogs (2-4, 1-1) continued, as they fell to 0-4 in away games this year and dropped their fourth straight at San Angelo Stadium dating back to 2011.
The Bobcats (3-4, 1-2) snapped a four-game losing skid and extended their win streak to eight games over the Bulldogs behind a 206-yard rushing effort from Hill and a 119-yard rushing performance from Darius Floyd.
“We did not play well in the second half, it’s really that simple,” MHS head coach Thad Fortune said. “We just didn’t answer the call. Credit to Central, they played better than we did. They made a lot more plays and there you have it. We let it get away from us. For sure, when they were up and they score, we have to answer and we didn’t answer. You get behind. We’ve got to be better after halftime.”
The Bulldogs seemed to be gaining momentum in the second quarter when Landry Walls scored on a 40-yard quarterback keeper, pushing MHS to a 14-13 lead with 7:27 on the clock.
Walls finished with 126 yards rushing and two TDs on 16 carries.
On Central’s ensuing possession, MHS sophomore linebacker Turner Squire had consecutive sacks to help force the Bobcats into a 40-yard field goal attempt, which they missed.
The Bulldogs didn’t take advantage of the momentum, fumbling away the football on their own 32-yard line.
Hill scored on a 25-yard run to push the Bobcats to a 20-14 advantage with 2:34 left in the first half.
“We had a costly turnover in the first half that was game changing,” Fortune said. “We had the momentum at that time, so it’s a tough loss. Hopefully we can learn some lessons from it. But we didn’t play good enough in the second half to win the game and Central did a great job.”
The Bulldogs were able to cut into Central’s lead before the half, as Bam Ruiz nailed a 31-yard field goal as time expired. The Bobcats led 20-17 at intermission.
Central got the ball after halftime and capitalized when Floyd rushed for a 1-yard TD to extend the lead to 27-17.
The Bulldogs had a chance to change momentum in the third quarter when cornerback Thombias Moy recovered a Bobcat fumble at midfield.
Following the turnover, MHS had a fourth-and-3 at the Central 39-yard line, but were called for a false start. Fortune opted to punt the ball away.
The Bulldogs converted only two first downs in the third quarter and never threatened again.
“I can’t say enough about our defense,” Central head coach Kevin Crane said. “They were challenged and they rose to the occasion. They really played a magnificent game, kept us in there. That’s a really good offense (at Midland High). They operate it well. That quarterback (Landry Walls) is good. He’s fast. He’s dynamic. I can’t say enough about our defense tonight.”
Central amassed 356 rushing yards on 39 carries, while the Bulldogs had 323 rushing yards on 54 attempts.
MHS senior Zion Ward had 24 carries for 118 yards.
“He’s a hard runner, shifty,” Crane said of Ward. “He’s rushed for a lot of yards this year. I thought we did a good job against him tonight.”
The Bulldogs will look to bounce back when they host Odessa Permian (4-2, 1-1) next week.
The Bobcats have an open date before visiting Permian on the following week.
Follow Christopher on Twitter: @chris_MRTsports
SAN ANGELO CENTRAL 41, MIDLAND HIGH 17
Midland 0 17 0 0 -- 17
Central 7 13 7 14 -- 41
SAN – Darius Floyd 2 run (Erick Rodriguez kick), 8:57
MHS – Landry Walls 4 run (Bam Ruiz kick), 11:17
SAN – Tyler Hill 14 run (pass intercepted), 9:49
MHS – Walls 40 run (Ruiz kick), 7:27
SAN – Hill 25 run (Rodriguez kick), 2:34
MHS – FG Ruiz 31, 0:00
SAN – Darius Floyd 1 run (Rodriguez kick), 8:47
SAN – Hill 86 run (Rodriguez kick), 11:46
SAN – Tyree Brawley 11 run (Rodriguez kick), 2:55
First Downs 20 18
Rushes-yards 54-323 39-356
Passing yards 35 71
Comp.-Att.-Int. 4-13-1 8-16-0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Punts-Avg. 4-39.8 1-22.0
Penalties-yds. 4-20 3-25
RUSHING – Midland, Landry Walls 16-126, Zion Ward 24-118, Jakob Vines 4-25, Jacob Urias 3-23, Jake Cunningham 5-22, Brian’Zai Perez 2-9. Central, Tyler Hill 12-206, Darius Floyd... Click here to read full article