CHS Football Hornets Romp in Expected DIstrict-Opener Victory

Shut out Kansass City: Central 55-0 at home Oct. 29. Will host Savannah in semis next Friday

As reported to C-T

With a boatload of ballcarriers – including a pair of senior offensive linemen, one of whom scored on a short run, three passing scores – one snagged off the shoetops after bouncing off a teammate’s hands or opponent’s helmet, and multiple fumble recoveries – a couple on kickoffs, the Chillicothe High School football Hornets commenced 2021 postseason play Friday (Oct. 29) with a 55-0 home swamping of Kansas City: Central.

The Chillicothe triumph advances it to the Class 3 District 8 semifinals next Friday, when the Hornets (7-3) again will host the action with Savannah the foe. The Hornets fended off Savannah 19-13 on the road Oct. 6.

Against the Kansas City public school opponent Friday on Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium II’s Bob Fairchild Field, Chillicothe put up more than half of their eventual points total – 28 – in the first quarter.

The game’s not-unexpected tenor was established when, after accepting the game’s opening kickoff, Central’s Blue Eagles could not earn a first down. Their attempted punt from the own 24-yard line carried only about six yards past the line of scrimmage before landing and bouncing back toward the spot from where the play had originated. After a couple of bounces, a Central player grabbed the ball exactly on the Central 24, game video showed, although the officials placed the ball at the 25, meaning a net punt of one yard.

Three plays later, after a couple of runs produced a loss and a short gain, a play-action pass from quarterback Gage Leamer found junior tight end Max Wagers by himself at the goal line for the first of eight Chillicothe touchdowns, all but one of which were followed by successful James Mathew conversion kicks.

Following M. Wagers reception of the first of Ga. Leamer’s three TD throws of the game – M. Wagers’ fellow end Griff Bonderer had the other two, the second on an alert, hustling, billiard-carom, second-period pass play that covered about 50 yards, Central missed a clean catch of M. Wagers’ pooch kickoff and Javon Kille recovered for the Hornets at the KC team’s 39.

A run of about a dozen yards by Corbin Rodenberg and one of more than 20 by fellow junior Brock Miller put the ball at the Blue Eagles’ 2, from where senior fullback Damarcus Kelow went into the end zone standing up on a carry off right tackle. A second-straight 3-plays Chillicothe scoring possession without a Central offensive play between made it 14-0 and the rout was on.

In the final quarter, CHS head coach and offensive coordinator Chad Smith “threw a bone” to the offense’s two senior starting linemen by inserting them in the backfield and calling a play for each to run the ball.

Second-year starting center Anderson DeJesus got the first chance and, from the Central 2, barely cracked the invisible plane of the goal line for a touchdown before having the ball inconsequentially jarred loose.

The next time the Hornets got the ball back, first-year starting tackle Christian Peniston gained about a half-dozen yards on an inside run on which the nearly-300-pounder carried multiple would-be tacklers for two or three extra yards before finally going down.