Uncertain and slow a week ago in a season-opening loss, the Lewiston football team made a 180-degree turnaround in six days.
Leading the way was senior running back Tyler Eberhardt. A backup last year, Eberhardt scored four first-half touchdowns as the Bengals opened a 34-7 lead by halftime en route to a 41-7 victory over the North Central Indians at Albi Stadium on Thursday night.
Eberhardt split North Central’s defense down the middle, hauling in a 60-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Colton Richardson.
Then Eberhardt followed with TD runs of 16, 2 and 16 yards. His last carry of the half put him at 100 yards.
The Bengals played like the young team they are in a 24-10 loss at home last week to Lakeland.
Lewiston was saddled by penalties last week, too, but committed just one in the first half Thursday.
Eberhardt, who finished with 137 yards rushing, scored a fifth TD in the third quarter. It was the game’s final TD.
“We cut down on some of the mistakes we made last week,” Lewiston coach Shawn Nilsson said. “We still made a few mistakes. The little things we still need to eliminate.”
In a showdown between sophomore quarterbacks, Richardson stood out. He completed 10 of 16 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
North Central coach Brian Gardner said he had to shoulder most of the blame for the Indians’ poor start.
“I’ve got to do a better job of getting them ready,” Gardner said. “We thought they were ready. We’re going to fix a few things, watch game film, see where the mistakes were coming. I’ll just do a better job and we’ll be ready to go next week.”
Isaac Wicks led NC with 91 yards rushing on eight carries. He also had two catches for 10 yards.
Lewiston moved at will at times.
“We’re getting there,” Nilsson said. “It was a cleaner game for us. I really liked a lot of the things we did last week, we just shot ourselves in the foot too many times.”