James Desjardins racked up 137 all-purpose yards and rushed for three touchdowns as the Republic Tigers pounded Central 49-14 in the season opener. Kerik Crouse rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries, and Josh Vaughn added two interceptions on defense.
The Tigers ran the ball 51 times for 298 yards. They added 63 yards through the air for a total of 361 yards.
Desjardins was 7-of-10 passing for 35 yards, and rushed for 102. His longest run of the night was 33 yards for a touchdown on the Tigers’ first drive.
After a quick stop by the defense and a long punt return by Beau Allen, the Tigers pushed the ball over the goal line again on a one-yard run by Colton Peltz.
After an interception by Vaughn snuffed out a Central scoring threat at the goal line, the Tigers drove down the field and Peltz added another one-yard touchdown to make it 21-0.
Central answered with a 30-yard touchdown pass by Thomas Sorg to cut the lead to 21-6. After a Republic turnover, another TD by Central, and a two-point conversion, made it 21-14.
Republic quickly marched down the field in the final minutes of the second quarter, and Desjardins scored on a 3-yard run with :13 left in the half to run the lead to 28-14. (See the video below.)
The score stayed that way until late in the third quarter when Desjardins scampered into the end zone from nine yards out to make the score 34-14.
Vaughn picked off his second pass of the night before Nick Gideon went to work. Gideon scored on touchdown runs of one yard and 18 yards to make the score 49-14.
Central had 221 total yards of offense. They were led by Secoy Hodges, who had 20 rushes for 70 yards.
Republic improves to 1-0 heading into a road game next week against Marshfield. Central falls to 0-1.