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Central Catholic cruises in Mount Hood showdown

Rams' running back Jaden Kaufman scores three touchdowns
by: David Ball, Central Catholic receiver Joe Martin tries to break loose from Barlow's Jerell Ramos to set up the Rams' first touchdown during Friday's 35-7 win.

After relying on its offense to provide the sparks in the first half, Central Catholic used its defense to seal a 35-7 win against Barlow in a showdown of Mount Hood Conference powers Friday at PGE Park.

The Rams built a 21-7 halftime lead and were on a the verge of adding another touchdown on its opening drive of the second half before a fumbled snap at the 2-yard-line gave Barlow hope.

But those plans were dashed on the next play when Central lineman Zach Ka'ahanui broke through and trapped Barlow's tailback in the end zone. The ball popped loose before he could pull the runner to the turf, and Rams' teammate Kevin Showalter flopped on it for a touchdown and a 28-7 lead.

'The coaches told us to get the ball back, and that's what we did,' Ka'ahanui said. 'After that touchdown it was a smooth path to the win.'

Central was never challenged the rest of the way.

The Rams moved in front on their opening drive when running back Jaden Kaufman found the end zone from 8 yards out - one of his three touchdowns on the night. He finished with 237 yards on 28 carries.

The score was set up when receiver Joe Martin took a short screen pass and broke back across the field, bouncing off several Barlow tacklers along the way. The play went for 34 yards with Martin dragging a Bruin the final five yards.

Central Catholic moved in front 14-7 early in the second quarter when quarterback Jacob Haas rolled to his right, stopped with a crowd of Bruins crashing in and fired across the field. Kaufman had slipped out of the backfield unnoticed and was all alone in front of Barlow's bench to haul in the 43-yard touchdown pass.

The Rams added another score in the final minute of the half when Martin made a 35-yard grab before being dragged down at the 2-yard-line. Two plays later, Haas scored on a quarterback sneak.

Barlow's only points in the first half came on an 88-yard kickoff return by Eric Capelle. He almost struck again at the end of the half, breaking through the middle for 50 yards being pulled down by his jersey from behind.