Central Cyclones running back Javin Boynton had a solid start to the season when Central rolled to a commanding win over the Swift Current Colts in their opening game of the campaign.
On Friday night in the marquee game of the regular season against the Peacock Tornadoes, he took it to another level.
Boynton had over 140 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the first half as Central built a 34-0 lead and would finish with 172 yards on the ground on eight carries. And that’s not taking into account a handful of kick and punt returns, one that went 80 yards to the house but was called back due to a penalty.
All told, it led to a 38-7 Central win in front of thousands of fans during the Friday Night Lights game at Elk’s Field.
“Everything just worked out good,” Boynton said of his outing. “Our o-line was blocking, our receivers had a hell of a game blocking and everything just went our way. We knew it was a big game, a big rvalry and everything just went well for us.”
While it’s easy for the coaches of his own team to laud the Grade 12 powerhouse, Peacock head coach Bert Redstone also had nothing but praise for Boynton.
“I know Javin from football, but also from track when he went to provincials last season and he’s just a class guy,” Redstone said jovially. “He’s reliable, he’s humble, he brings it all the time, and you come out here and watch him play and he slaloms all over the field and makes guys miss. He does his job and he’s good at it, what else can you say?”
Boynton got things started with a 26-yard touchdown early in the first quarter and then snapped off an 81-yard run that saw him get through the line and break a handful of tackles before going all the way to the house.
While those were Boynton’s only two majors, his simple presence on the field the rest of the game was enough to open things up for other offensive standouts like Keaton Belsher, who had an 11-yard receiving touchdown and a slick in-stride 75-yard pass-and-run major as Central built a four-touchdown lead.
“The first game of the year we threw the ball quite a bit and Javin had his stats, but we didn’t lean on him quite as much,” said Central head coach Colin Belsher. “This game we leaned on him a little bit more. You use what the defence gives you, and in this game they were playing back and they weren’t trying to give up the big shots, so we relied on our offensive line and relied on Javin to run the ball and they did a great job.”
The Cyclones defence also had a solid game, holding Peacock to a single fourth-quarter major, with Nate Measner hauling in a nine-yard pass for the Tornadoes' lone score.
“They played stout tonight, they got big stops when they had to and they gave up the one late, but that’s okay, Peacock earned that one,” Belsher said. “When you put those things together you’re usually pretty successful.”
Tanner Duncan had a fumble recovery for a touchdown late in the first half and Rylan Schaffer had a 25-yard field goal in the second half to round out Central’s scoring.
Despite the final score and back-to-back relatively lopsided losses, the Tornadoes had the interesting stat of winning the first half against Yorkton and second half against Central, something Redstone looked at as a positive as his young crew continues to find their game.
“We’ve played two games and we’ve had two halves we’ve won against quality teams, so that’s the takeaway for us,” Redstone said. “We had to mix it up a little bit more because they can throw and run, so it was what we expected, a good hard battle. And it was fun being out here in a night game and being in this really cool environment.”
Peacock quarterback Owen Varjassy had a solid game even if the points didn’t come, as he was 18-for-24 passing for 258 yards and the one touchdown. Brodie Ansell was 7-for-21 for 173 yards and two majors for the Cyclones.
Central now turns their attention to what will undoubtedly be their toughest two games of the regular season as they face the two-time defending league champion Weyburn Eagles in Weyburn on Friday before travelling to Yorkton to face the perennial powerhouse Raiders on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Peacock is back in action this Saturday when they host the Estevan Elecs, with kick-off at 1 p.m. at Gutheridge Field.