If Eau Claire North never sees Johnny Davis again, it will be too soon.
The rangy La Crosse Central quarterback ran and passed for 368 yards and all seven touchdowns in a 45-8 win over the Huskies Thursday night at Carson Park.
“They’ve got some spectacular athletes and Davis is one of them,” said Andy Jarzynski making his debut as the North coach.
The 6-4, 185-pound junior led the Red Raiders to a 39-0 halftime lead and left late in the third period with the score 45-0.
“I think it’s really helping him that this is his second year as a starter,” said Central coach Tony Servais. “He makes the throws and he can run it too.”
The score was a virtual duplicate of Central’s 45-7 win over North a year ago, but the young and outmanned Huskies hung in there til the end.
Junior quarterback Bennett Mayer passed 9 yards to Riley Bauer for their only score, and Mayer ran for the 2-point conversion late in the game.
“In the first half, I saw some inexperience and lack of physicality,” Jarzynski said. “In the second half I challenged them to play like it was a 0-0 game and in the fourth quarter they were competing.
“Nobody put their head down. I was unbelievably proud of the effort.”
But they had no one to handle Davis, who hit on 17 of 25 passes for 265 yards for four touchdowns and ran five times for 103 yards and the other three 6-pointers.
In the first quarter, he hit Trevon Van Egtern and Peter Fleming for scoring passes and then dazzled the Husky defense on a 54-yard touchdown run to make it 20-0.
In the second quarter, he hit Jordan Davis and Fleming for scores and ran over from the 13 for another. He capped his night with a 16-yard romp in the third quarter.
“I’m proud of our offense,” Servais said. “We’ve got some young guys seeing their first varsity action so this was a good start for them.”
Central wound up with 413 total yards although they were held to minus-7 in the final period.
North tried to run the ball and finally found some room in the second half when they gained 71 of their 110 yards rushing with Noah Dilley running for 45 yards and Sam Barby 44 while workhorse Taylor Ellis gained 32 tough yards in the first half but wound up with 20.
“Technically, we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Jarzynski said. “We made some mistakes that put us in a hole but we had eight sophomores playing defense at one time out there.”
Mayer wasn’t used much as a passer but gained praised from the coach.
“I thought he did a nice job maintaining his composure in a tough situation,” Jarzynski said.
Sophomore linebacker Luke Pololak was credited with a nice job and was awarded the Huskies Hammer Award.
Servais said he’s looking ahead to next week against the Old Abes.
“We went 1-0 last year and lost our next three games,” he said. “We’ve got to get ready for Memorial.”