St. Joseph Central stymies Oak Park
By Andrew DeWitt The St. Joseph News-Press
Corey Jackson continued to plow through opposing defenses, and Central’s defense allowed only 18 yards to Oak Park in the first half while cruising to a 35-16 win Friday at Noyes Field.
The easy victory moves Central (5-3) to 1-0 in Class 5 District 12 play, and a win against either Staley or Park Hill in the next two weeks likely puts the Indians in the playoffs for the first time since 1995.
Central’s defense forced two turnovers in the first half, which led a touchdown. Oak Park (0-8) picked up only two first downs before the break, and the Northmen went nearly 20 minutes without picking up a new set of downs with the Indians defense having its way.
“The high point tonight was definitely our defense,” Central coach Jeff Wallace said. “Our first guys really improved from last week. I was really happy with what I saw.”
While Wallace was impressed with what he saw on both sides of the football, the second-year coach knows his team will need to keep improving to secure a playoff berth.
The win also sets up a showdown with Staley — the No. 1 team in the state in Class 5 — at Noyes Field next week. It’s Central’s fourth consecutive win since losing 19-15 to Platte County in Week 4.
Staley defeated Park Hill 31-7 on Friday night.
“I’m pretty excited about that one,” said defensive back Dre Irvin, who forced the first Oak Park fumble. “I’ve been thinking about that one for a while. These games are fun, but those big games, I want to make a statement to the state.”
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