The Central Heights football team wants to play physical.
Third-year coach Bob Risch preached that style since his first day.
"This is year three and we have been preaching that physicality," Risch said. "We preached that consistent, down in and down out. We can’t get too up on a great play or too down on a bad play. The next play has to be the next one."
The message is getting through. The Vikings’ physical play guided Central Heights to a 2-1 start and a 37-0 victory over Northern Heights on Friday night in the homecoming game.
Risch said this week’s challenge was to be more physical after being pushed around by top-ranked Olpe in the second week.
"They came in and put in a physical week of practice, Risch said. "They came out ready to go. We had a great week of practice. We got after it. We came into it confident, feeling like we could take on anybody."
It was the second straight shut out victory on homecoming night, but last year’s game was shortened to three quarters.
"The defense played awesome," Risch said. "I don’t know the last time we had a shut out for the full game."
Central Heights dominated in every area, but the offensive and defensive line play set the tone. Risch said both lines have new starters this year.
"They knew from game one they would be challenged and step into shoes that were older than them from the year before," Risch said. "They are starting to rise to the challenge."
The Vikings are maturing under the gun. Last year, the Vikings lacked consistency.
"Last year we were up 16-0 at halftime and we came out five overtimes later and lost," Risch said. "At halftime, we challenged those guys. We can’t let up. We have continue to be consistent."
The kids were not satisfied with a one score lead, two score lead or three score lead.
"We have eight seniors this year. Their leadership has been awesome. We have moved to the next level."
The Vikings showed they can play any style and still be successful. Central Heights scored three touchdowns through the air and two on the ground. Quarterback Tony Detwiler passed for three scores and rushed for one.
"We are definitely an explosive team that at times can pop it, and at times, run through the tackles and grind it out," Risch said. "That will keep the defense we are playing against guessing. Our balance is huge on offense."
Cass Burroughs (6 yards), Cauy Newell (19 yards) and Jarod Crawford (36 yards) caught touchdown passes. Newell scooted 30 yards for another score.
Central Heights plays Friday at NE Area.