Central holds off Vanier 42-21
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Central's Zach Hagerman breaks into the open field en route to a 51-yard touchdown run.
The Central Cyclones took a page out of the Philadelphia Eagles playbook.
Which only makes sense when you have a quarterback who runs as well as Parker Chow.
Chow ran for four touchdowns and 169 yards total as the Cyclones beat the Vanier Vikings 42-21 in Moose Jaw High School Football League action.
“He’s a special athlete. He’s fast, he’s long, he’s athletic. He made a couple of decisions on his own — that last one wasn’t supposed to be what it was. He had a bad snap and he decided to make an athletic play and he found the end zone,” said Central coach Colin Belsher.
“That’s the positive with Parker and as soon as he understands the pocket and learns to read defences he’s going to be a great quarterback in this league.”
A week after the Eagles used a unique formation in the National Football League, the Cyclones used it to damaging effect a week ago against Swift Current. The “triple stack” sees Central use three lineman in tight, the tackles split wide where the wide receivers would normally be which creates a bunch wide with a tackle and a wide receiver on the line of scrimmage and a slot back lined up behind them.
“It’s just another option for our team. It really spreads things out,” said Belsher. “It may not work every time. Obviously teams start to pick up on it and they will start to scheme to that, but it allows our athletes to be athletes and find that open space. It allows Parker to do what he does best and that’s moving around in the pocket and finding open space to run.”
While Vanier defended it well Saturday, Chow did use the extra room to break a 62-yard touchdown run.
“I like to think I’m more of a runner, but I’m not a running back,” said Chow who is still learning his new position. “It’s coming along really well. Every week the whole team and myself is getting better and better.”
Vanier was prepared for the triple stack formation and on the first play they tried it, Chad Buchko jumped the route and intercepted Chow. The Vikings forced a pair of early turnovers, but Central was able to score three first half touchdowns and take a 21-0 lead at the half.
The Vikings didn’t lay down and instead marched the ball down the field to open the half. Jordan Wingenbach scored on a four-yard touchdown pass from Rylan Blacklaws.
“We needed to establish something up front and I think for the first time this year we did that with our offensive line,” said Vanier coach Ryan Gottselig. “Once we got that push, we started to get some confidence and we were able to move the ball on them. We need to establish the run in order to be successful.”
The Vikings got the ball back immediately after a Central fumble on an on-side kick and Blacklaws finished that drive with a two-yard run and suddenly Vanier only trailed 21-14.
“Our effort couldn’t be questioned today. I’m really proud of our guys. They played well. The big plays are just killing us on defence — right when we were getting back in the game.
Central ran their first play of the second half with 14 seconds left in the quarter. As much as they stood around and watched they didn’t show any rust.
“It was a slow start, but I was confident that we would come back. When our offence got a chance to come back out we really started clicking again,” said Chow who had a two-yard touchdown run to finish off that drive.
Chow opened the scoring with a 62-yard run. Zach Hagerman followed with a 51-yard run for the Cyclones. Fullback Chris Cooper threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Laboccetta to complete the first half scoring. Chow’s other scoring run was 23 yards.
Hagerman finished with 140 yards rushing.
Drew Nimegeers had a three-yard touchdown run for Vanier and he finished with 65 yards rushing. Kelton Kouri caught five passes for 58 yards and added 35 more on the ground.