AUBURN, AL (WBRC) - Central-Phenix City High School closed out a perfect 14-0 season Wednesday night with a 52-7 victory over Thompson to claim the state title as the AHSAA 2018 Super 7 State Football Championships opened at Jordan-Hare Stadium with the Class 7A finals. The state championship was the first for Central since winning the Class 6A crown in 1993.
Central-Phenix City controlled the game from the get-go with its stifling defense and ball-control offense to take a 21-0 lead into halftime. Coach Jamey DuBose’s Red Devils continued the domination in the second half forcing two quick turnovers and led 45-0 after three quarters.
Three sustained drives provided the Central touchdowns in the first half. Joseph McKay’s 5-yard run at 9:52 of the first quarter capped a six-play, 32-yard drive and put the Red Devils ahead 7-0. Quarterback Peter Parrish, who rushed for 100 yards and one TD on 11 carries and completed 5-of-9 passes for 7 yards and another score to earn 7A championship game MVP honors, kept for an 8-yard TD run seven minutes later to up the lead to 14-0. The final TD march covered 87 yards on eight plays and took just 2:38 with Amontae Spivey racing seven yards for the score with just over two minutes left in the half.
Things didn’t get any better in the third period for Thompson (13-2), coached by Mark Freeman. The Warriors had three turnovers and Central capitalized quickly. Noah Pell kicked a 28-yard field goal in the third quarter, Eddie Williams hauled in a 24-yard TD pass from Parrish, Trevon Miller scooped up a Thompson fumble and rambled eight yards for a TD and Henry Marquez returned an interception 14 yards for a score as the Red Devils scored 24 points in the third period.
Tucker Melton added a nine-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 52-0 before Will Hoffman grabbed a 23-yard pass from E.J. Edwards for Thompson’s only score with 3:58 to play.
Central totaled 22 first downs, 314 yards rushing and 92 yards passing for 406 total yards. Spivey added 78 yards rushing on 14 carries and McKay had 47 on six carries for the Red Devils.
Senior running back Shadrick Byrd led the Warriors led all rushers with 161 yards on 24 carries. Sam Gaiters added 56 on five carries. Taulia Tagovailoa finished 7-of-11 passing for 44 yards and Edwards was 5-of-12 for 41 yards and the TD. Michael Pettway had four receptions for 93 yards as Thompson finished with 293 total yards.
Six different defenders had five tackles for Central with Marquez Henry leading with a sack and two other tackles for losses. Ray Thornton also had a 69-yard interception return on one interception to set up the third-quarter field goal.
Will Conner had seven tackles and Jeremiah Alexander had six to pace the Warriors.