FAIRLAND -Bud Mendenhall Field was packed to capacity for Homecoming festivities Friday and the crowd did not leave disappointed following an explosive display from Triton Central that resulted in a 46-6 thrashing of Lapel.
Triton Central improved to 3-2 on the season and is 3-0 against Indiana Crossroads Conference opponents.
Dakota Nelson set the tempo for the night returning the opening kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown, his first of three touchdowns on the night.
The Bulldogs (0-5, 0-4 ICC) proved to be, as Triton Central head coach Gabe Johnson stated, "scrappy," throughout the game. However, their first two drives ended in a Daniel Stickford safety and an interception by linebacker Jordan Thurman.
Following a nine-yard touchdown run by Jonah Thacker, the Bulldogs were forced to punt on their next drive. Dakota Nelson kept the scoring going with a 54 yard return.
Following last week's loss to Brebeuf Jesuit, Johnson expressed his desire to get the kids playing good football again, and at a high tempo.
"The biggest thing for us was to come out and play well for as many quarters as our kids could," Johnson said. "We got to see a lot tonight."
The Tigers have struggled this season to put four quarters of football together, just playing very well "in spurts" as Johnson said.
With a 36-point lead at halftime, Johnson kept the starters on the field to start the second half not in an effort to make a statement, but to build consistency.
"You want your guys to learn how to play a full game," he said. "The reality is we've got to maintain four quarters from here on out. We're still learning how to put together a complete game, and you can't do that with your starters watching the game."
The Tigers have found a comfort zone within Bud Mendenhall Field winning all three games. On the road, Triton Central has lost non-conference games at Heritage Christian and Brebeuf. The task doesn't get any easier with games at state-ranked opponents Ritter and Scecina.
On a night where the Tigers enjoyed a big win amongst a crowd of alumni and Homecoming kings, queens, princes and princesses, the team also was able to hand some minutes to its younger players.
"You've got to be happy for those guys," Johnson said, "We got to evaluate a lot of kids tonight."
Lapel remained resilient and its hard work paid off with a late touchdown.
Triton Central faces its toughest ICC challenge next week against Ritter, who beat Class 3A, No. 1 ranked Chatard, 56-33.