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East Baton Rouge Battle: Central Tries To Tame The Broncos

The East Baton Rouge Battle of Central vs Zachary features two sensational sophomore quarterbacks, who are looking to lead their respective teams to big things.

The Central Wildcats are a force now that Sam Kennerson has returned from a broken thumb. Kennerson has the Cats riding high on a three-game winning streak, but Central (4-3) faces its biggest test since he returned to the field when they visit the Zachary Broncos this Friday.

Zachary Quarterback Keilon Brown led the Broncos to the semifinals of the Class 5A playoffs last season and this year they are 5-2, 3-0 in district play. Since losing to University High three weeks ago, Zachary has recorded dominating victories over district rivals Walker and Denham Springs.

Last week, Brown had five rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns in a 49-7 drubbing of the Yellow Jackets.

One of Brown’s top targets is senior wide out Trae Shropshire. He’s 6-foot-3 and has excellent speed. On the year Shropshire has 21 catches for 373 yards and 4 touchdowns. Junior Chandler Whitfield has really emerged and he has 23 grabs for 382 yards and five touchdowns.

Leading the ground game is senior Darweshi Sanders, who is finally getting his chance to start and he’s making the most of his opportunity. Sanders has rushed for 470 yards and three touchdowns.

The offensive is led by three-year starter Blake Anderson at left guard. Broncos Head Coach David Brewerton says when Anderson plays well, the entire offensive line plays well.

Zachary’s defense is allowing 13 points a game. There’s a lot of speed in the secondary, the Broncos are athletic on the D-line and the linebackers are solid.

The linebackers are junior Wes Brady and sophomore Maverick McClure. Brady is a co-captain of the defense and his father, Warren, was a star at Zachary in the 1980s and is in the Bronco Athletic Hall of Fame. McClure’s father is former LSU standout Todd McClure, who went on to play 14 seasons for the Atlanta Falcons.

They will try to stop a Central offense that’s caught fire since Kennerson’s return. The Wildcats have scored 122 points in their last three games. Last week Kennerson threw two touchdown passes to the speedy Joe Self in a 34-7 victory over Brusly.

Central has relied mostly on its ground game this season. Parker Evans is a bruising back at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds. They also have two smaller backs that get yards in different ways. Quint Guerin is shifty, while Isiah Rankins is more of a physical runner. Guerin was a second-team all-district outfielder on the Wildcats 5A state championship baseball team.

The strength of this Wildcats team might be their defensive line. In a game televised on YURLA earlier this season, Central had seven sacks in a 42-28 win over Dunham. Defensive tackle Todd Lasseigne had a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown. There’s also Jeff Campbell who was an all-district performer last year.

With three weeks left to go in the regular season, Central is fighting for a playoff spot. In the power ratings, they are at number 28 and the top 32 teams make the postseason. Zachary is 4th in the power ratings.

Join us for all of the action this Friday, starting with the Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance Companies Countdown to GameTime at 6:30 PM. Kick-off is just after 7 PM.