The Central Valley defense intercepted two passes in the first quarter, saving itself from its own foibles early in its game against visiting North Central.
When the Bears recovered from their first-half blues, they rolled to a 48-7 homecoming victory Friday night.
The Indians had more than 300 yards of first-half offense. They ran 22 plays to CV’s 10 in the first quarter, only to trail 7-0 on J.P. Benson’s 92-yard interception return.
As the CV defense adjusted, and the Bears turned to their time-consuming ground-control game, the tide began to turn.
The Bears rushed for nearly 200 yards in the second half, led by Adam Chamberlain and Spencer Miller, who combined for 224 for the game.
Miller also had his name announced numerous times on defense.
“We got off to a rough start,” Miller said. “When we got our defensive line stopping them, that’s what we needed to do.
A 10-play drive that used up five minutes of the second quarter put the Bears up 14-0.
Cody Kiourkas answered quickly with a 70-yard TD run, but it only took two plays for the Bears to regain their two-score advantage with Chamberlain’s 51-yard pass to Hayden Wohlrehammer for 51 yards setting up Miller’s second touchdown, from 17 yards out.
“He’s a smart kid and he works so hard,” coach Rick Giampietri said of Miller. “He’s just an iron man for us.”
All told, the three touchdowns happened in only 41 seconds.
The second half was all Central Valley. The team used up most of the third quarter on two marches for scores and tallied on Chamberlain’s 51-yard scramble on the first play of the fourth.
And the once-porous defense limited NC to negative yardage in the second half, despite Kiourkas’ 144-yard night.
“We worked on a lot of that stuff all year, it’s just that sometime it goes belly-up on us,” Giampietri said. “The long runs are what bother me. We’ve got to tackle better in the secondary.”