Panthers start fast, keep Winhawks winless

Rochester Century followed a familiar formula to victory Friday night in Winona, scoring first and scoring fast in a predictably easy 48-20 victory over the winless Winhawks.

Century improved to 7-0 and secured at least a share of its first Big Nine Conference football crown. The Panthers can win the title outright in the last regular season game Wednesday against Rochester John Marshall at Century Stadium. JM is 6-1.

"That's the ultimate goal, to put yourself in position to win the conference," said Century coach Jon Vik. "I couldn't be more proud of these kids."

The Panthers continued their habit of seizing control early with a 41-6 lead by halftime. In the last four games, Century has scored 35, 40, 35 and 41 points in the first half.

Senior running back Isaac Odim scored four touchdowns in the first half, including a 41-yarder on Century's first play from scrimmage. Odim only played in the first half at running back and finished with 138 yards on 14 carries. He's now 27 yards short of 1,000 for the season.


Vik said his players did a good job of not overlooking Winona. This was the 18th straight defeat for the Winhawks.

"It's one of those things that's difficult, when you have a big game looming against a crosstown rival," Vik said. "It's real tough to stay focused, but our guys did a good job."

The big early lead allowed Vik to play "lots and lots of people" in the second half. Senior running back Sam Ahle had his best game with 74 yards on nine carries and one touchdown.

"I think what we wanted to do was see what these (reserve players) could do under the lights," Vik said.

Century's defense limited Winona to just 50 yards rushing, but the Winhawks got a big game from sophomore quarterback Sam Blank. He completed 15 of 25 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns.

Century summary, Big Nine standings -- Page 7D

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