Opelika vs. Central-Phenix City high school football

Joseph McKay (23) carries the ball for a touchdown during the Opelika vs. Central-Phenix City high school football game at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City on Sept. 20, 2019.

Central-Phenix City only ran 39 plays on offense against Enterprise on Friday night. Given how successful the Red Devils were at moving the football, they didn’t need nearly that many in their latest victory.

Quarterback Tucker Melton threw for 72 yards and two touchdowns, and running back Joseph McKay took two carries to the house as the Red Devils raced past Enterprise 42-13. Central (6-1, 3-0) got several different players involved on offense in a victory that featured 365 total yards, 272 of which came on the ground.

“We got out to a very fast start. That’s what we wanted to do going on the road. We felt really good about the game going into it,” Central head coach Jamey DuBose said. “Offensively, we scored on about the fourth play from scrimmage, and then I think we scored on every series in the first half except one touchdown that was called back. We ended up kicking a field goal, and unfortunately we hit the upright on that. I thought it was a very productive game.”

McKay started the Red Devils’ opening drive with a bang, breaking a 39-yard touchdown run to put Central up 7-0 early on Enterprise (2-5, 1-3). He answered again shortly thereafter, this time scoring on a 40-yard carry to put the Red Devils ahead 14-0.

McKay ended the night with just those two carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns.

Melton helped stretch the lead to 21-0 at the 3:23 mark in the opening quarter, hitting Robert Marsh in the end zone on a 17-yard touchdown pass. Central’s other quarterback, Trey Miles, got the score to 28-0 before the opening quarter ended by connecting with E.J. Williams for an 11-yard touchdown with 52 seconds to go in the period.

Melton added his second touchdown pass of the evening with 9:30 to go before halftime by finding Jackson Meeks on an 11-yard pass to give the Red Devils a 35-0 advantage. Siraj Muhammad then contributed with a big play on special teams, taking the football off the Enterprise punter’s foot and taking off 40 yards downfield to leave Central up 42-0.

From there, the Red Devils cooked the clock to leave with a road victory.

“We don’t get extra rankings or points, and it doesn’t help us out in the playoffs to put 70 or 100 up. We had done all we needed to do,” DuBose said. “We needed to rest our guys for some important games coming up along the way and take advantage of the opportunity. We did, got some young guys in the game and got everybody healthy out of that game.”

Central plays an important Region 2-7A game Saturday against Lee-Montgomery in the Cramton Bowl at 11:30 p.m. CT.

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