PARK HILLS — The Central football team gave its starters a light workload Thursday night after netting four touchdowns in the first quarter.
Daniel Marler turned his first two carries into long scoring runs as the Rebels rolled past winless Lift for Life 49-0 in a Class 3, District 1 quarterfinal.
Central (8-2) posted a 239-47 advantage in total yards by halftime, and will host Fredericktown (6-4) in a district semifinal game on Wednesday.
Marler raced 61 yards on the second play from scrimmage, then scored on a 29-yard burst through the middle after Austin Caldwell recovered a fumble.
Derek Mitchell broke away for a 53-yard scamper before punching it across from inside the 1, and the Rebels enjoyed a 21-0 lead less than four minutes into the contest.
Lift for Life (0-10) brought just 19 available players down from St. Louis, and was simply overmatched despite a hard-fought effort.
The visiting Hawks hoped to salvage their first defensive stand late in the first quarter, but Marler turned the corner on 4th-and-6 from the Lift for Life 37, notching his third touchdown of the night.
Marler finished with 139 yards on five carries, and neither he nor Mitchell would see further action past the opening quarter.
Central attempted only three passes, including a pair of successful 2-point conversions caught by Reid Lucas and Caldwell.
Sam Holloway capped a 7-play drive with a 4-yard run to make it 36-0 as the second quarter began. Logan Comfort added a short TD following an interception by fellow sophomore Kyle Schwantner.
Brayden Manion capped the scoring on an 8-yard keeper with 3:04 to play in the first half after replacing Hunter Courtois at quarterback.
Lift for Life reached the red zone just before intermission on separate 20-yard runs by Deshawn Davenport and A.J. Robertson. But a third turnover resulted in a fumble recovery for Brandon Maberry.
Rebels senior Petey Bryan set a new school record by recording his 11th sack of the season early on. Dakota Duck and Cody House added sacks for the commanding Central defense.
Robertson was 9-of-13 passing for 46 yards, connecting with Davenport on five targets for the Hawks.
The second half featured a continuous clock and drenching rain. Central lost four fumbles with defensive lineman Darion Glover falling on two.
Lift for Life was blanked for the first time this season, not counting a forfeit loss against Crystal City. The Hawks missed their best chance for a victory in week 2 at Perryville in a 13-12 setback.
Lift for Life 0 0 0 0 – 0
Central 29 20 0 0 – 49
CEN (6-0) – Marler 61-yd run (Kick missed), 11:07
CEN (13-0) – Marler 29-yd run (J Comfort kick), 10:37
CEN (21-0) – Mitchell 1-yd run (Lucas pass from Courtois), 8:06
CEN (29-0) – Marler 37-yd run (J Comfort kick), 3:48
CEN (36-0) – Holloway 4-yd run (J Comfort kick), 11:55
CEN (43-0) – L Comfort 1-yd run (J Comfort kick), 8:28
CEN (49-0) – Manion 8-yd run (Kick missed), 3:04