Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Central Not Ready to Go Home ; Bears Face No. 6 Jasper in Semifinal Game

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Central Not Ready to Go Home ; Bears Face No. 6 Jasper in Semifinal Game

Article excerpt

With Chris Walker-Glenn graduated, Avion Sullivan knew he would be Central High School's featured running back this year. As a result, he stepped up his running and weightlifting program in the offseason. "I took it upon myself to work hard and make myself a better runner," said Sullivan, a 6-foot, 190-pound senior.

Although Central football coach Andy Owen said you can't anticipate anyone cracking the 2,000-yard barrier, that's exactly what Sullivan expected - and achieved - in a 77-28 romp over Seymour last week. He may need a characteristically huge game if Central (7-3) is to win at No. 6-ranked Jasper (9-1) at 7 p.m. CDT Friday in the Class 4A Sectional 24 semifinals. The winner will host the winner of the Silver Creek (4-6) at Reitz (7-3) game next Friday for the title.

"I know I play every game like it's my last," said Sullivan, who has a school-record 2,046 yards on 223 attempts, an average of 9.2 yards per carry. "I remind the team that it could be our last game. I try to pump them up. We don't want to go home. We play to win."

Sullivan, who is regarded as an NCAA Football Championship Subdivision prospect and is on the bubble for a Football Bowl Subdivision team spot, according to Owen, has 27 rushing touchdowns and 30 overall. His single-season total broke the previous school mark of 1,888 yards set by Jeremy Fairrow in 1998. His 27 rushing TDs ties the record set by Floyd Brogden in 1987. Primarily an outside runner in the past, Sullivan has proved he can also run with power between the tackles this season.

"What he has is he can score on any play and the way he can run physical," Owen said. "He's able to get the tough yards."

However, Owen noted that Sullivan wouldn't have enjoyed so much success if not for the two-way threat Austin Fuchs poses at quarterback. Fuchs has rushed for 1,064 yards and passed for 1,049, which keeps teams from concentrating exclusively on Sullivan. …

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