Duluth Central runs over Duluth East
Joe Janchar remembers feeling numb after what he thought was the final football matchup between Duluth Central and Duluth East last year. The Central running back first celebrated with his teammates after the Trojans blocked an East field goal on...
Joe Janchar remembers feeling numb after what he thought was the final football matchup between Duluth Central and Duluth East last year.
The Central running back first celebrated with his teammates after the Trojans blocked an East field goal on the final play of the game, but then wept upon finding out an East player had picked up the ball and ran it in for a game-winning touchdown.
"It was the worst feeling in the world -- what a horrible way for it to end," Janchar said. "We were devastated as a team. We were all happy, and the next minute the other team is celebrating."
Central didn't need to interrupt its celebration Friday night, cruising to a 58-12 victory at Public Schools Stadium in what turned out to be the true finale to the rivalry. Duluth Central will close next year, leaving Denfeld and East as Duluth's only public schools.
"This completely makes up for it," said Janchar, a senior, who rushed for
73 yards on seven carries in his first game back after twice separating his right shoulder. "I've waited my whole high school career (to beat East), and this is what it's about."
Senior C.J. Ham, who lost to East while at Duluth Denfeld last year, rushed for a game-high 150 yards on 22 carries as the Trojans accumulated 379 yards on the ground.
"This is what we've been waiting for," Ham said. "Our line blocked great, our defense played great. It's sad that the rivalry is coming to an end, but because we won by such a large margin we'll never forget this game."
Central (3-3) scored touchdowns on its first three possessions to take a 21-6 lead. Janchar scored on 11- and 34-yard runs, and Ham took a pitch down the right sideline 31 yards for another score.
"For us, we would have had to be picture-perfect with our tackles to contain them," East coach Joe Hietala said. "I give them credit; they were able to run through a lot of tackles."
East (0-6) narrowed the gap to 24-12 and attempted to move the ball from deep in its own territory in the final minute of the first half, only to go three-and-out. The Trojans responded with their only pass completion, a bomb from Mitch Svihel to Andrew Laughlin, who turned and pitched behind him to Josh Biles on a hook-and-ladder for the clinching touchdown with 19.6 seconds left.
"It's a snapshot of our season," Hietala said. "We've yet to be able to rally when we have some adversity; it just seems to kind of spiral."
The second half spiraled out of control quickly as Ham and Nate Beaulieu ran in short touchdowns, and Cory Hage scooped up a fumbled kickoff and returned it for another touchdown.
There was no chance for any late dramatics this time.
"We thought we'd be a little more convincing rather than letting it come down to the wire," Trojans coach Chris Vold said. "Our guys responded, got some breaks and capitalized on them."
Duluth Central 21-9-21-7--58
Duluth East 6-6-0-0--12
DC -- Joe Janchar 11 run (kick failed)
DC -- Janchar 34 run (Nate Beaulieu run)
DE -- Noah Tapper 4 run (pass failed)
DC -- C.J. Ham 31 run (Jeff Ohaju kick)
DE -- Nick Carlson 5 pass from Alex Toscano (pass failed)
DC -- Ohaju 42 field goal
DC -- Josh Biles 10 lateral from Andrew Laughlin (kick failed)
DC -- Ham 3 run (kick failed)
DC -- Beaulieu 8 run (Beaulieu run)
DC -- Cory Hage 28 fumble return (Ohaju kick)
DC -- Travis Madgzas 5 run (Ohaju kick)