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The multifaceted ground attack of Howard's football team produced 312 yards to propel the Hustlin' Tigers to a 61-0 Region 2-4A victory over visiting Central on Friday night at Reggie White Field.

Speedy running back Eric Johnson rushed for four touchdowns — from 4, 2, 1 and 37 yards — and 113 yards on 13 carries.

In opposition to Johnson's shiftiness, Howard power back Davontay Smith scored two touchdowns on tough runs through multiple Central defenders. Smith struck first on a 49-yard dash down the left sideline. His second score came on a 2-yard dive up the middle. He totaled 77 yards on six carries.

Javion Robinson and Calvin James scored from 12 and 62 yards out, respectively, to give Howard (4-2, 1-1) a 47-point lead at halftime and keep the clock running through the second half. Central dropped to 1-5, 1-2.

"I thought we came out a bit rusty tonight. We didn't execute right off the bat as well as I liked, but we made some athletic plays," Howard coach John Starr said, attributing much of the success running the ball to his offensive line's play.

The Hustlin' Tigers had only three offensive plays that resulted in negative yards.

"Very rarely did we get hit in the backfield," Starr said. "They really helped up keep up the momentum and set the pace of the game."

The Howard rushing attack was buoyed by its stifling defense, which totaled six takeaways and gave the offense a short field to work with throughout the game. The Hustlin' Tigers forced and recovered four fumbles and picked off Purple Pounders quarterback Kevin McGhee twice.

"Our first drive we just didn't get after the quarterback or get in their backfield, but after that we turned the switch on," Starr said. "They were giving us great field position most of the night."

Contact Justin Dempsey at sports@timesfreepress.com.

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