Central Gwinnett's Malachi Jones (9) beats out Mountain View's Tyler Bethune (20) to haul in a touchdown during the first half of Friday's game.
LAWRENCEVILLE — As odd as it seemed after his football team just scored 54 points, Todd Wofford's biggest post-game grin was reserved for his defense.
Central Gwinnett forced five Mountain View turnovers, four that resulted in touchdowns, on Friday night and the hosts rolled to a 54-14, season-opening win that saw the offense click and the defense make amends for a rough 2010.
The Black Knights allowed 37.1 points per game last season during a 4-6 season, but held the Mountain View starters to 81 rushing yards to start its season in impressive fashion.
"The defense was big tonight," Wofford said. "They took a lot of heat off last year's performance, but they took pride and worked hard in the offseason and they've gotten a lot better. It showed tonight in those turnovers, sacks and tackles for losses."
It also helped that 6-foot-5, 250-pound England native Francis Kallon joined the team. Playing his first American football game, the Georgia Tech recruit had a sack, three tackles for losses and blocked a punt that resulted in his team's second touchdown, a 27-yard punt-block return Justin Brownlee.
Chase Brown had two third-quarter fumble recoveries that led to scores, Trey Johnson also recovered a fumble and J.B. Ezzell added a nice interception. Mountain View fumbled seven times total, losing four.
"We stepped up on defense," Kallon said. "That was the most fun was making every stop on defense. Everyone was just working together. That's what got everyone motivated to play."
CENTRAL GWINNETT 54, MOUNTAIN VIEW 14
Mountain View 0 14 0 0 -- 14
Central Gwinnett 20 7 20 7 -- 54
Central: George Morris 1 run (kick failed) 10:02
Central: Justin Brownlee 27 blocked punt return (pass failed) 3:45
Central: Malachi Jones 21 pass from Eman Westmoreland (Jones pass from Westmoreland) :12
Central: Morris 5 run (Charlie Deloatche kick) 9:01
Mountain View: Marvin Elam 2 run (Jeffrey Stone kick) 5:13
Mountain View: Elam 2 run (Stone kick) :02
Central: Louis McGee 20 pass from Westmoreland (Deloatche kick) 10:07
Central: Morris 14 run (Deloatche kick) 7:52
Central: Morris 6 run (kick failed) 1:33
Central: Adam Riley 71 pass from Nate Hartford (Deloatche kick) 11:10
Set up with prime field position most of the night, Central's offense took advantage.
Eman Westmoreland completed 15 of 24 passes for 157 yards and two TDs, one to Louis McGee (five catches, 64 yards) and the other to Malachi Jones (six catches, 44 yards). George Morris carried 10 times for 66 yards and had four TD runs.
His first TD and Brownlee's blocked punt return were followed by a 21-yard TD pass from Westmoreland to Jones to close the first quarter. Another turnover led to Morris' 5-yard TD run and Central led 27-0 early in the second quarter.
Marvin Elam (14 carries, 64 yards) scored on a pair of 2-yard runs in the second quarter, though, cutting the Bears' deficit to 27-14 by halftime. The second score was set up by a nice Joshua Briggman interception.
But Mountain View turned the ball over on its first two possessions of the third quarter and the rout was on.
Central scored on four of its first five second-half drives, the last a 71-yard TD pass from Nate Hartford to Adam Riley.
"Outside of the (first-half) drive where we had the turnover, we pretty much did what we wanted to do (on offense)," Wofford said. "We set the tempo."