| San Angelo Standard-Times
SAN ANGELO — The San Angelo Central High School football team couldn’t have picked a better time to play its best game so far in the 2020 season.
Senior quarterback Malachi Brown tied a school record by throwing for five touchdown passes, leading the Bobcats to a 53-32 blowout against Abilene High in the District 2-6A opener for both teams Friday night at San Angelo Stadium.
“We always play so good at home,” Central head coach Brent Davis said. “It’s just the energy that we have here. Even with the COVID-19 crowd, it was great. It was just fun to play at home, man.
“We finally put together a pretty good offensive and defensive effort. That’s a good football team and they came out and we had to fight them for four quarters and we came out on top.”
Central improved to 1-3 overall and 1-0 in district, while Abilene dropped to 0-3 and 0-1.
The Bobcats will travel to Frenship next Friday, while Abilene will host Odessa Permian.
Central erased the frustrations of the first three games when the Bobcats lost nondistrict contests against Killeen Shoemaker, Schertz Clemens and A&M Consolidated all on the road.
Brown completed 19 of 28 passes for 336 yards and the five TDs, tying the school record with Maverick McIvor (2017), Cal Vincent (2014), Braden Hucks (2014), Mickey Scott (2013), and Shea Morenz (1990, ’91).
He would have had a chance to break the record with a sixth TD pass, but there was no need to risk Brown getting hurt, as Tyler Hill finished things up.
“We’ve got to have him for the whole year, man,” Davis said. “He takes a lot of shots as our quarterback. He gets hit a lot. If we get it under control, we’re going to get him out.”
The Bobcats QB was posing for photos with the ‘Angry Orange’ fans after accounting for 390 yards total offense.
He put Friday’s performance in perspective.
“It was really fun, coming home to our home turf and with a great atmosphere with all our fans here and my family, and my line making blocks and my receivers making plays,” the Bobcats QB said.
“It just felt really good. We were all in sync. I think they only stopped us like twice. Everybody was in sync making routine plays. I think that was the best part.”
Seth Levesque finished with three receptions for a game-high 101 yards, including a 69-yard TD reception late in the second quarter as Central built a 29-12 cushion at the half.
Tyler Hill caught five passes for 83 yards and a 42-yard TD catch in the first quarter.
Weston Hill snagged four passes for 82 yards and TDs of 24 and 49 yards.
“Our receivers really played well tonight, all of them,” Davis said. “When everybody’s getting their touches, it just puts so much pressure on the defense when you can spread it around like and that’s what you saw tonight.”
Central’s other scores came on 4-yard TD run by Isaiah Dale in the second quarter, a 37-yard field goal by Erick Rodriguez in the third, and a 1-yard TD run by Samuel Navarette in the fourth.
Navarette finished with a game-high 66 yards rushing and the one score on 11 attempts.
“He did a great job,” Davis said of his junior RB. “I just brought him up off the JV this week. I told him to be ready. He looked good in practice and, man, he ran well. He’s going to get a lot more reps now.”
Abilene quarterback Abel Ramirez completed 17 of 26 passes for 255 yards, including a 25-yard TD toss to Anthony Ramirez in the fourth.
Phonzo Dotson had a team-high 64 yards rushing for the Eagles on 12 carries, including an 8-yard TD in the third.
Da’King Thomas scored on a 5-yard run in the second quarter for Abilene, and an 8-yard score in the third.
Abilene’s Anthony Ramirez kicked a 27-yard field goal on the Eagles’ opening possession and he added a 26-yarder in the second quarter.
Despite giving up 386 total yards and a number of big plays, Davis thought it was an improved effort by his defense.
Senior cornerback Jamaal Dunson intercepted the Eagles’ last pass in the fourth quarter.
“I thought they played well,” the Bobcats coach said of his defense. “We’ve still got some things we need to clean up. We’re just not playing third down like I want us to play third down.
“In the second half, I don’t think we were quite as aggressive as in the first half. But when you score like that, you kind of lose a little bit of that intensity.”
Davis added, “But I feel good. It’s our first win and a district win. It puts us in a good position and now we can worry about Frenship.”
Maybe one of the most surprising things about Friday’s game was that a Central team that had been having trouble with a lot of senseless penalties wasn’t flagged for a single one against Abilene.
San Angelo Central 53, Abilene High 32
Abilene 3 9 13 7–32
Central 14 15 17 7–53
AHS — Anthony Ramirez 27 FG, 9:28 remaining
CHS — Weston Hill 24 pass from Malachi Brown (Erick Rodriguez kick), 5:23
CHS — Tyler Hill 42 pass from Brown (Rodriguez kick), 2:29
AHS — Da’King Thomas 5 run (run failed), 11:43
CHS — Isaiah Dale 4 run (Brown run), 8:36
AHS — Anthony Ramirez 26 FG, 2:00
CHS — Seth Levesque 69 pass from Brown (Rodriguez kick), 0:28
CHS — Weston Hill 49 pass from Brown (Rodriguez kick), 11:02
AHS — King 8 run (pass failed), 9:26
CHS — Rodriguez 37 FG, 6:48
CHS — Jalen Leifeste 22 pass from Brown (Rodriguez kick), 1:52
AHS — Phonzo Dotson 8 run (Anthony Ramirez kick), 0:07
CHS — Samuel Navarette 1 run (Rodriguez kick), 7:38
AHS — Jeshari Houston 25 pass from Abel Ramirez), 4:47
First downs 17 20
Rushes-yds 28-131 30-159
Passing yds 255 336
Comp-att-int 18-26-1 19-28-0
Punts-avg. 0-0 1-48
Fumbles-lost 2-1 0-0
Penalties-yds 6-37 0-0
Rushing — Abilene: Phonzo Dotson 12-64, Da’King Thomas 5-26, Jeshari Houston 2-21, Abel Ramirez 5-18, Luke Tebow 1-4, Luke Castaneda 1-3, team 1-(-5). Central: Samuel Navarette 11-66, Malachi Brown 9-54, Ashton Hartsfield 3-21, Isaiah Dale 4-9, Tyler Hill 2-6, Michael Creek 1-3.
Passing — Abilene: Abel Ramirez 18-26-1 for 255. Central: Malachi Brown 19-28-0 for 336.
Receiving — Jeshari Houston 5-95, Anthony Ramirez 4-82, Frederick Johnson 4-65, Nate Seballos 3-24, Phonzo Dotson 2-11. Central: Seth Levesque 3-101, Tyler Hill 5-83, Weston Hill 4-82, Jalen Leifeste 3-32, Malik Haywood 2-25, Cayden Box 1-9, Tripp Noble 1-8.
9:21 p.m. — Final: San Angelo Central 53, Abilene High 32.
9:19 p.m. — Bobcats take over at the Eagles’ 48 after an interception by Central’s Jamaal Dunson.
9:17 p.m. — Abilene takes over after a fake punt comes up short. Incomplete pass by the Eagles on first down.
9:15 p.m. — 4th and 4 from the Eagles’ 37 for Central. Timeout Abilene with 2:32 left.
9:12 p.m. — Central takes over at the Eagles’ 43. Tyler Hill in at QB now. Brown’s done all the damage he needs to in this one.
9:10 p.m. — Eagles get within 53-32 on 25-yard TD pass from Abel Ramirez to Jeshari Houston with 4:47 left to play.
9:07 p.m. — Abilene High is at the Central 33.
9:03 p.m. — Central 53, Abilene 25. 7:38 4th. 1-yard TD run by junior RB Samuel Navarette, who leads the Cats with 61 yards on nine carries.
9:00 p.m. — 2nd and 5 from the Eagles’ 24 for Central.
8:58 p.m. — Brown ran for 30 yards on first down to the Eagles’ 45.
8:56 p.m. — End 3rd: San Angelo Central 46, Abilene High 25
8:54 p.m. — Central 46, Abilene 25. 0:07 3rd. 8-yard TD run by Phonzo Dotson.
8:52 p.m. — Eagles are putting something together. They’re at the Central 10.
8:50 p.m. — Brown throws 22-yard TD pass to Jalen Leifeste to make it 46-18 Bobcats with 1:52 left in the third.
8:45 p.m. — Central is at the Eagles’ 35 now with a first down looking to add to the lead.
8:43 p.m. — Bobcats defense recovers a fumble at the Central 38.
8:41 p.m. — Eagles took over at their 35. They’re at the Central 39 now.
8:39 p.m. — Central pushes lead to 39-18 on Erick Rodriguez’s 37-yard field goal. We’ve got 6:48 left in the third.
8:36 p.m. — Bobcats have the ball at the Eagles 21 after a muffed punt return by the Eagles.
8:32 p.m. — Central 36, Abilene High 18. 8-yard TD run by Da’King Thomas at the 9:26 mark of the third. That’s his second TD of the night.
8:27 p.m. — Abilene takes over at its 31. Phonzo Dotson runs for 22 yards and then Frederick Johnson makes 26-yard reception to the Central 21.
8:26 p.m. — 49-yard TD pass from Brown to Weston Hill makes it 36-12 Central with 11:02 left in the third.
8:24 p.m. — Bobcats get the ball at their 35 to start the second half.
8:22 p.m. — Abilene High QB Abel Ramirez was 10 of 17 for 114 yards in the first half.
8:21 p.m. — Central QB Malachi Brown was 13 of 17 passing for 228 yards and 3 TDs in the first half that went to three different receivers — Weston Hill (24 yards), Tyler Hill (42) and Seth Levesque (69).
8:06 p.m. — We’re about 16 minutes from the second-half kickoff and the Bobcats will get the ball first.
7:59 p.m. — Halftime: San Angelo Central 29, Abilene High 12
7:56 p.m. — Bobcats push lead to 29-12 on 69-yard TD pass from Brown to Seth Levesque. 0:21 left in the half.
7:52 p.m. — Eagles cut deficit to 22-12 on Anthony Ramirez’s 26-yard field goal. This has been a fun one to watch.
7:50 p.m. — Abilene calls timeout before setting up for a 26-yard field goal try. It’s 22-9 Bobcats with 2:05 left in the half. This game has moved along very quickly.
7:47 p.m. — 1st and 10 from the 14 for the Eagles. Da’King Thomas with a 2-yard gain to the 12, followed by an incomplete pass.
7:45 p.m. — 4th and 6 from the 34 and they get the first down with a 9-yard pass to Anthony Ramirez.
7:43 p.m. — Eagles are at the Cats’ 38 facing 3rd and 10.
7:41 p.m. — Abilene took over at its 15. Eagles have a first down at the 25 now.
7:38 p.m. — Central 22, Abilene 9. 8:36 2nd. 4-yard TD run by Isaiah Dale, followed by a 2-point conversion run by Brown.
7:37 p.m. — First and goal from the 4 after 11-yard pass to Malik Haywood.
7:35 p.m. — Bobcats are in the Red Zone again with a first down at the 15.
7:33 p.m. — Bobcats take over at their 33. They’re at the 40 now facing 3rd and 3. Timeout Central.
7:29 p.m. — Central 14, Abilene 9. 11:43 2nd. 5-yard TD run by Da’King Thomas. It was set up by a 31-yard pass from Abel Ramirez to Anthony Ramirez on 3rd and 10 from the Eagles’ 30.
7:26 p.m. — End 1st: San Angelo Central 14, Abilene High 3
7:21 p.m. — 42-yard TD pass from Brown to Tyler Hill makes it 14-3 Central with 2:29 left in the first.
7:19 p.m. — 16-yard pass to Tyler Hill for a first down at the 42.
7:18 p.m. — Central takes over at the Cats’ 25.
7:16 p.m. — Incomplete pass, followed by a Central sack on the Eagles’ QB. Abilene will have to punt now.
7:15 p.m. — Abilene takes over at its 35 after a fair catch.
7:14 p.m. — Brown connects with Weston Hill for a 24-yard TD pass to give Central a 7-3 lead. 5:23 1st
7:11 p.m. — Central’s at the Eagles’ 27 after a 24-yard pass from Brown to Seth Levesque.
7:10 p.m. — QB Malachi Brown runs for a first down at the 45, followed by an incomplete pass.
7:09 p.m. — Bobcats start at their 25 on their first series. They’re at the 35 now with a first down.
7:06 p.m. — Abilene 3, San Angelo Central 0. 27-yard FG by Anthony Ramirez. 9:28 left in the first quarter.
7:03 p.m. — Abilene’s at the 13 after a 30-yard pass from Abel Ramirez to Frederick Johnson.
7:01 p.m. — Abilene starts at the Central 49 after a long return by Jeshari Houston.
6:59 p.m. — Bobcats win the coin toss and defer to the second half.
6:47 p.m. — We’re getting close to kickoff for the Bobcats’ district opener. The ‘Angry Orange’ fans finally get to see their team play a home game.