It might be getting old for everybody else, but certainly not for the Billings Central football team.
The Rams scored on their first five possessions Thursday night, closing out the regular season with a 40-7 win over Hardin at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium.
It was Central’s 41st consecutive Eastern A regular-season victory and seventh straight year the Rams (7-1, 5-0) have finished unbeaten in league play.
Hardin finishes the year 2-6 overall and 1-4 in the league.
“No, not at all,’’ said Central coach Jim Stanton of getting bored with his team’s Eastern A dominance. “We never even talk about it … the coaches never talk about it to the team. The kids might talk about it among themselves, but I know the coaches don’t.
“It’s something that some day we’ll look back on this with pride. But we still have more games to play.”
The Rams didn’t need to talk much against the Bulldogs.
Working behind a dominant offensive line, Holden Ryan finished with 159 yards rushing on just seven carries with touchdown runs of 16 and 51 yards. The junior also caught a 35-yard scoring pass from Bryce Hawbaker, and had a 51-yard touchdown run called back on the Rams’ third offensive play of the game.
Jesse Byorth added 48 yards on four carries, including a 15-yard scoring run on Central’s first series.
“Our offensive line is blocking great and our running backs ran great,’’ said Hawbaker. “Everything was clicking for us offensively tonight.”
Hawbaker finished a perfect 5-for-5 passing for 115 yards. He also found Colin Holetz for a 12-yard scoring pass.
The Rams led 21-0 in the first 10 minutes and 33-7 by halftime.
“Hardin gives you a lot of different looks,’’ Hawbaker said. “We watched a lot of film on them during the week so we were prepared. And our offensive line got the job done.”
Hawbaker and most of the first stringers were done late in the first half. Central would have scored on its first six possessions but ran out of time at the end of the first half, the drive stopping at the 7-yard line.
“It’s tough,’’ said Stanton of keeping a team focused after building a big lead. “We want to play at our level. We talk about that, each individual has to play to a certain level.”
Michael Stanton had a 12-yard touchdown pass to Kaylor Althoff in the fourth quarter. The Rams used 12 different ball carriers to pile up 324 rushing yards. The defense, which had three quarterback sacks and two pass knockdowns, limited the Bulldogs to 214 total yards. Weston Marsh also had a couple of tackles for loss for the Rams.
“It was good, everybody who suited up got to play,’’ said Stanton.
Carl Johnson led Hardin with 113 yards on 25 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown plunge late in the first half.
Central now has two weeks before its first playoff game.
“I think it’s good,’’ said Hawbaker of the break. “We have a few minor injuries and some guys will have a chance to heal up. And we can go back to work on the fundamentals in practice.”
Billings Central 40, Hardin 7
BC -- Jesse Byorth 15 run (Benton Braesicke kick), 11:19.
BC -- Holden Ryan 16 run (Braesicke kick), 5:17.
BC -- Ryan 35 pass from Bryce Hawbaker (Braesicke kick), 2:07.
BC -- Colin Holetz 12 pass from Hawbaker (kick fail), 10:11.
BC -- Ryan 51 run (run fail), 7:13.
HAR -- Carl Johnson 1 run (Brandon Becker), 41.6.
BC -- Kaylor Althoff 12 pass from Michael Stanton (Braesicke kick), 10:03.
RUSHING -- Hardin: Carl Johnson 25-113, Erik Sharpe 12-73, Shawn Purcell 9-5, Carlos Salazar 2-23. Central: Holden Ryan 7-159, Kaylor Althoff 8-55, Jesse Byorth 4-48, Kyle Gunderson 4-19, Evan Barthel 3-0, Michael Stanton 2-18, Mike McNeely 1-4, Bryce Hawbaker 1-4, Michale Hartman 1-4, Zack Blank 1-10, Zach Hanser 1-2, Dayton Cogdill 1-(minus 4).
PASSING -- Hardin: Shawn Purcell 6-15-31-0. Central: Bryce Hawbaker 5-5-115-0, Michael Stanton 2-5-19-0.
RECEIVING -- Hardin: Greg Sloan 2-15, Erik Sharpe 2-4, Carl Johnson 1-13, Carlos Salazar 1-7. Central: Shelby Zorn 2-31, Holden Ryan 1-35, Kyle Gunderson 1-29, Colin Holetz 1-12, Kaylor Althoff 1-12, Jesse Byorth 1-15.