By Ken Lay

Central High School opened its 2021 Class 5A playoff run with a lopsided victory at Dan Y. Boring Stadium Friday night.

The Bobcats routed Tennessee High 46-7 on a chilly night in Fountain City.

The night might’ve been cold but Central’s offense provided plenty of fireworks.

The Bobcats set the tone for the contest early as running back Shannon Mills scored on a 12-yard touchdown dash just 41 seconds into the game.

Central (7-3) scored two more touchdowns in the opening frame as senior quarterback Ryan Bolton tossed a pair of touchdown passes. Bolton, who finished with 195 yards and four touchdowns through the air, connected with Will Siaway on a 26-yard scoring strike to give the Bobcats a 14-0 lead with 8 minutes, 4 seconds remaining.

A short time later, Bolton threw a short 9-yard scoring pass to Caleb Johnson to make it 21-0.

Central coach Nick Craney had high praise for his quarterback after the Bobcats dismantled the Vikings (3-7).

“(Bolton) does a good job commanding our offense,” Craney said. “We came out and we executed a game plan and it was good to see our kids make plays.”

The Bobcats had several playmakers on this night as Mills rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and Siaway caught a pair of touchdown passes and had the game’s last score on an electrifying 86-yard kickoff return with 3:12 left in the game.

Siaway caught a 60-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter to make it 28-0.

Central enjoyed a 40-0 lead at halftime thanks to Mills’ 1-yard scoring plunge and Bolton’s 23-yard scoring strike to Almani Rembert.

The Bobcats could’ve had an even bigger lead at the break but they missed a 42-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.

Central’s offense was potent and quick-striking but the defense also made plays as Ian Miller and Trinidad Gutierrez recovered fumbles and Mark Adams Jr. came up with an interception.

The mercy rule was invoked after halftime and the clock ran throughout much of the second half.

Tennessee got its lone touchdown on a 12-yard run from Josh Green with 4:11 remaining in the game.

Next up for the Bobcats: Central travels to face Daniel Boone, which notched a 19-12 comeback victory over Halls as it scored 12 unanswered points after the Red Devils had a 12-7 lead in the fourth quarter.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.