BURLINGTON – Burlington Central took sole possession of first place in the Big Northern Conference’s East Division with a 26-14 homecoming victory over Genoa-Kingston on Friday night.
The teams were tied for the top spot with identical 2-0 records coming into the game.
The win might have been costly for the Rockets (4-1, 3-0 BNC East). Quarterback Ryan Ritchie injured the thumb on his throwing hand during a two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter.
The senior started for the first time Friday since being injured in Central’s second game of the season.
“I don’t know for sure what it is,” Rockets coach Rich Crabel said about the injury. “It needs to be re-evaluated.”
The Cogs (2-3, 2-1 BNC East) opened and closed the first quarter with their only scoring drives of the night. G-K scored on the third play of the game when Gabe Williams ran 71 yards for the touchdown. Eli Thurlby scampered 12 yards for the second touchdown with 1:44 left in the quarter. Chris Camarago kicked both extra points.
G-K started the second quarter with a 14-6 lead.
“We knew it was going to be a tough, physical game with big plays on both sides,” Cogs coach Travis Frederick said.
The Rockets got on the scoreboard on their second drive of the first quarter. A 25-yard pass from Ritchie to Tyler Majewski put Central in the end zone. Central then tied the score in the second quarter on a 12-yard Ritchie-to-Majewski pass and a Ritchie two-point conversion.
Central took the lead five seconds into the fourth quarter when Ritchie scampered for a 1-yard touchdown run. The Rockets failed to make the two-point conversion. Carter Muelling’s only reception on the night, a 7-yard toss from Ritchie, scored the final tally. The Rockets’ quarterback injured his thumb during the failed two-point conversion.
“We struggled early and then buckled back down,” Crabel said. “Offensively, the kids did a nice job tonight.“