KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Central Bobcats led by 34-10 midway through the third quarter and looked to be rolling, but the Heritage Mountaineers came all the back to within 41-33. Heritage’s chance to tie the game at the goal line with two minutes left was snuffed by the Bobcats. Heritage had a couple of chances on a Hail Mary, but could not convert. Central clinched a playoff spot with the 41-33 win.
Central running back Frank Johnson was the player of the game. He finished with 30 rushes for 177 yards and three touchdowns.
Johnson put the Bobcats on the board first with a short run where he dodged a tackler in the backfield.
Central’s defense showed up forcing Noah Lyons, Torin McAfee and Silas Geasland all grabbed interceptions. Geasland took his back for a pick-six.
Heritage found the end zone in the second quarter. Wesley Deck found Zak Davidson on fourth down for a nine-yard score to pull Heritage within 20-7.
It seemed like Central was going to roll when McAfee picked off Deck again and took it to the house to go up 34-10.
Deck took over and drug the Mountaineers back. He rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another to pull Heritage back within eight.
The Mountaineers had one last chance to tie it. Deck took it himself from the one-yard line on fourth down, but he was stuffed at the line by the Bobcat defense.
UP NEXT: Central will host Halls in a region game on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. Heritage travels to Clinton for a non-region game on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.