The Central football team rode one of the most productive offenses in school history to an 8-2 campaign.
Sam Markham was the Division III statistical champ with a school-record 104 pass receptions, good for 1,215 yards, also a school mark. Central’s 535.3 yards per game of total offense was a school mark as was its 30.1 first downs average.
Senior quarterback Riley Gray was a record-setter as well, completing a best-ever 64.2 percent of his throws (205-319-5) for 2,478 yards and 29 touchdowns. He also was Central’s second-leading rusher with 61.7 yards a game with a team-high nine scores.
A dramatic 50-49 overtime victory at nationally ranked Whitworth (Wash.) opened Central’s second eight-win season in the past three years. The Dutch had a league-high eight first-team all-conference picks after tying for second place. Gray, Markham, tight end Mitchell Boerm, right guard Cole Tanner, linebacker Jessie Peterson, defensive tackle Corbin Blythe, free safety Zach Matter and return specialist Zack Martinelli were cited. All are seniors. Defensive lineman Wes Wheat and linebackers Drew Carlson and Sam Norgaard were second-team picks.
Markham was named Central’s 36th football all-American by D3football.com, and the first Dutch wide receiver to receive the honor. Tanner, Martinelli and Matter were second-team D3football.com all-region selections.