There were a lot of things for the Central High School football team to celebrate Friday night at Veterans Memorial Field.
Sophomore quarterback Johnny Davis was one. Junior Jamar Davis was another. The biggest, of course, was a 45-7 nonconference victory over Eau Claire North.
But a serious injury to the left ankle of Jordan Davis while making a catch near the goal line on the second possession made the win a little bittersweet.
The Red Raiders (1-0) set the tone when Johnny Davis rolled to his right and connected with Jordan Davis for a 14-yard gain on the first play and continued it with the quarterback passing all over the Huskies.
“I was a little nervous at the start,” said Johnny Davis, who completed 21 of 37 passes for 403 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. “But once I saw that our guys were going to come out and do what they needed to do, I knew we were going to win.”
Jordan Davis, who capped the first drive with a 38-yard touchdown catch and finished with three catches for 85 yards during seven offensive plays, was injured while hauling in a 33-yard catch down the left sideline on the second possession. He pulled the ball down over the top of the defender before the two tumbled to the ground, and Davis remained there.
“I was very concerned about it,” Johnny Davis said of the injury. “He was going to be one of the best receivers in the conference, and it was tough watching him go down like that.”
The Red Raiders, who won their opener for the second straight year, completed the drive with a Greg Kohler touchdown run as the sophomore receiver was prepared to be transported in an ambulance that was parked on the track.
Johnny Davis continued unfazed and made good read after good read while the Red Raiders pulled away. He completed 16 of 24 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns as Central built a 38-0 halftime lead.
The Red Raiders had touchdown drives of 68, 39, 70, 48 and 32 yards in the first half. The last score — a 32-yard pass to Zach Lueth — came with 4 minutes, 32 seconds left in the half.
Eau Claire North managed 52 yards in the first quarter and just 17 in the second as Central tacked on two second-quarter touchdowns.
Jamar Davis was a dual offensive threat and took care of North with his speed. He caught seven passes for 104 yards and carried three times for 63 yards.
“What’s different between us now and us last year is that last year we had a bunch of linemen and tried to run the ball a lot more with the spread,” Central coach Tony Servais said. “Our young guys from last year are now on the outside and ready to give us more.
“We saw Jamar’s speed today, but we’ll also find plenty of opportunities for Greg (Kohler), too. He didn’t run the ball a lot today, but he will.”
The injury to Jordan Davis created an opening for Lueth to get more snaps at receiver, and he took advantage of the opportunity. The senior caught four passes for 101 yards and a second-quarter touchdown.