The Central Crossing High School football team was nothing if not opportunistic Aug. 31 in its home opener against Beechcroft.

The Comets took advantage of a handful of gaffes by the Cougars and used a swarming defense to build a four-touchdown halftime lead en route to a 33-8 win.

Pierre France’s 118 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries padded the lead for Central Crossing, which scored two touchdowns in nine seconds late in the first quarter to take control.

Jon Tiegler had five tackles, including 2.5 sacks, and recovered a fumble to lead Central Crossing’s defense, which held Beechcroft to 47 yards in the first half and 104 for the game.

“We had to finish them off,” France said. “My line has been so great. They get a good push and once we get the ball (into the red zone), we feel pretty good that we’re going to finish.”

Central Crossing got some help from Ni’Elle Simmons’ drop in the open field for Beechcroft on what should have been a 77-yard touchdown pass from DeShannon Butler early in the second quarter. That came moments after the Comets took a 19-0 lead on France’s first touchdown from a yard out. Butler dropped the ball at the Central Crossing 31 while appearing to switch hands.

Consecutive sacks followed for a loss of 19 yards, and a bad snap on the ensuing punt landed at Beechcroft’s 15.

Two plays later, France scored from 6 yards for a 26-0 lead. He scored from 1 yard with eight minutes left.

“I loved our energy. Pierre has really turned into a workhorse,” Central Crossing coach Trevor White said. “Our offensive line moved people around and our defense played another great game. Our front seven was tremendous.”

The Comets took the lead late in the first quarter on quarterback Kameron Peck’s 1-yard touchdown run, and then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. One play later, Peck found Kameron Inks under double coverage along the home sideline on a 29-yard touchdown pass and Central Crossing was in control with a 13-0 lead.

Both teams are 1-1.

“We self-destructed,” Beechcroft coach Charles Gibson said. “We had the athletes to win the game. You can’t shoot yourself in the foot.”

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

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Team 1 2 3 4 Final BEECHCROFT 0 0 0 8 8 CENTRAL CROSSING
13 13 0 7 33

CC—Peck 1 run (Terrell kick)

CC—Inks 29 pass from Peck (kick failed)

CC—France 1 run (pass failed)

CC—France 6 run (Terrell kick)

CC—France 5 run (Terrell kick)

B—Hairston 10 pass from Butler (Butler pass to Wooden)