By Pat Pickens

ppickens@bcnnew.com

A year after finishing less than 2 minutes from the FCIAC Championship, many pundits predicted Bridgeport Central would regress after losing star quarterback Christon Gill to graduation.

Thursday night, however, the Hilltoppers proved that in 2010 they're still a force to be reckoned with. Five different Hilltoppers scored touchdowns, led by Shabashe McIntosh, who rushed for two, as Central pummeled Fairfield Ludlowe High, 50-6, at Taft Field.

"We looked pretty good offensively," Central Head Coach Dave Cadelina said. "I'm happy with the outcome, but we've got some things we needed to sharpen up."

The game was delayed for more than an hour by a thunderstorm that rolled through the region right before kickoff. "I really didn't want them to postpone it," McIntosh said. "I was hyped up and ready to run."

When the game restarted, McIntosh rushed for 108 yards and the two scores as Central racked up 421 total yards of offense and 340 on the ground. "We've still got a strong offense," McIntosh said. "We've got three other running backs just like me."

Central's defense also intercepted Ludlowe quarterback John Coliavito four times and forced five interceptions by Ludlowe passing altogether. Coliavito ended the game 8-17 for 103 yards.

"We're young," Ludlowe Head Coach Matt McCloskey said. "It's going to take some time. This is a hard league."

After Central scored and made a 2-point conversion, Ludlowe scored on its opening drive in the first quarter. Central then took control, scoring the final 42 points of the game. McIntosh, Lucas DeSouza, David Anderson, Charles Blue and Davin Campbell all rushed for scores in the first half and Lafayette James caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Deon Wiggins in the first 24 minutes. Wiggins, a junior, tallied 81 yards in the air for Central.

"Physically we're a tough team," Cadelina said.

"They run that offense perfectly," McCloskey said. "There isn't a play that they run that doesn't work."

Ludlowe's Nate Ryan led the home team with 153 yards rushing and the only score of the game for the Falcons. Ludlowe, now 0-1, for the second year in a row fell to Central in its opener. Last year, the Falcons lost 53-28 to the Bridgeport team.

The Falcons try for their first win of the year a week from Friday when they host Ridgefield.

CENTRAL (1-0) 23 20 7 0 -- 50

LUDLOWE (0-1) 6 0 0 0 -- 6

BC - Charles Blue 1 run (Shabashe McIntosh run); FL - Nate Ryan 1 run (kick blocked); BC - McIntosh 5 run (Lucas DeSouza kick); BC - David Anderson 36 run (Frederick Tucker run); BC - Anderson 26 pass from Deon Wiggins (kick failed); BC - Lafayette James 28 pass from Wiggins (Damekus Carmon kick); BC - Davin Campbell 17 run (Carmon kick); BC - McIntosh 23 run (Carmon kick).