Berkmar wide receiver Shakeem Powell (10) is covered tightly by Central Gwinnett defensive back Charles King (4) during the second quarter of a football game played at Berkmar Friday evening.
LILBURN -- Once Central Gwinnett got out of its own way, Berkmar couldn't do much to stop the Black Knights.
On offense or defense.
Central's first two drives Friday night ended in turnovers, first a fumble on the opening drive and the second an interception on a drive that began on the Patriots' 20 after one of many blocked or tipped punt attempts.
The interception by Berkmar's Karl Llewellyn led to the Patriots taking the early lead. Three plays after the pick, Deion Perry found Dorren Miller flying down the sideline for his first completion of the game and a 66-yard touchdown connection.
And that was it for the good time, Central Gwinnett scored the next 43 points of the first half on its way to a 49-6 win.
"That's the second week in a row we started off slow, started off down," Central head coach Todd Wofford said. "We have to get better at that and we will get better at that."
With its game against rival South Gwinnett at the Georgia Dome next Saturday, Central shouldn't need any added motivation to be ready to start its next game.
"We would be ready to play South Gwinnett if we were playing them in the parking lot," Wofford said. "I am excited for our kids. I am excited for Lawrenceville. Hopefully, we'll come out ready."
Once things got started Friday, they still sputtered some with 60 penalty yards, a dropped pass on a sure touchdown and the early fumble.
"We were sloppy tonight," Wofford said. "But we are excited to be 1-0 in the region."
And that's all that matters.
Eman Westmoreland, who ended the game 14 of 21 for 262 yards and four TDs, connected on 13 of 20 passes for 209 yards and three scores in the first half alone. His final scoring throw of the half was a 46-yards dart to Louis McGee in the final minute.
And when Westmoreland wasn't passing, George Morris found plenty of room to run. Even before his fumble on the first drive, the senior running back began slicing through the young Patriots' defense. And as the game wore on, his carries only grew in their impact. By halftime Morris had racked up 130 rushing on 12 carries, an average of more than 10 yards a carry. He had runs three runs of more than 20 yards and touchdown carries of 4, 3 and 2 yards. He didn't return after halftime.
And all of that was nothing compared to the defense.
Following the long touchdown pass, the Black Knights defense became a brick wall pushing backward. On Berkmar's final three drives of the first half, as the game slipped away, they compiled minus-27 yards of offense and that is with a pair of first downs on one drive where the punted on fourth-and-40. The quarterback Perry had little, if any time to throw, running around the backfield and taking sack and after sack as the Black Knights brought pressure from different directions every play.
"It's gotten where the kids feed off each other," Wofford said of his two units.
Central punctuated its dominance after with a second straight quick-strike drive to kick off the second half.
Westmoreland found Malachi Jones, this time along sideline, and he sprinted past every Patriot defender for a 53-yards score.
And that was it for the first-team.
Jones' final catch game him a team-best 96 yards receiving on four catches. But with some added yards against the Black Knights' second team, Perry and Miller found some rhythm late in the game. Miller caught a game-high six balls for 170 yards, but his early TD was the only time the junior found the end zone.