SAN ANGELO, Texas — It was a 12-yard strike to senior wide receiver Jalen Leifeste in the fourth quarter that put Central’s senior quarterback Malachi Brown above the rest.

Brown completed 25 of 41 passes for 245 yards and threw a school record six touchdown passes in the Bobcats’ 54-31 win over Midland High last Friday at Grande Communications Stadium.

“I really didn’t know until afterwards,” Brown said. “It lets our team have more confidence. We can pass the ball more and it let’s our defense know we can score.”

The previous record of five touchdowns in a single game was set by Shea Morenz in 1990. Since then, only five other quarterbacks have reached the mark: Mickey Scott (2013), Braden Hucks (2014), Cal Vincent (2014), Maverick McIvor (2017), and Malachi Brown (2020).

“[Brown] is a great athlete that has a lot of heart and a lot of determination,” head coach Brent Davis said. “He’s going to have success because he’s going to make sure he does. Failure is not an option for him.”

Five different wide receivers caught touchdown passes from Brown in his record-breaking performance, but it was the teammate on his wrists that impacted him most.

Brown’s late mother Felisha Martinez who died earlier this year.

“She passed away in March and she loved football,” Brown said. “She would go to every single game since I was in middle school and she never missed a game. Every game I write her name and dates on my wrist tape, so I dedicate every game to her because I know she’s there with me.”

There’s a lot to smile about if you’re Brown and the Central Bobcats. The team is atop District 2-6A and is riding a four-game winning streak, the defense is holding opponents to under 20 points per game and Brown is playing some of the best football of his three years as a starter for the Angry Orange.

Through four weeks of district action, the senior quarterback has completed 62-percent of his passes for 1,126 yards and has 18 passing touchdowns to just one interception.

“It’s a team accomplishment and that’s what makes it so much fun,” Davis said. “He’s had a great year, but we have a lot of work left to do and he’ll tell you the same thing.”

Brown is the only three-year starter in Davis’ 12-year-stint with the Central Bobcats. The quarterback came in for injury relief his sophomore season and never relinquished his starting spot.

“He was thrown into the fire and grew up doing it,” Davis said. “He grew up and got better right in front of our eyes.”

Davis said Brown is right up there with the legends of Central Football.

“I think he’s developed himself, along with Coach Crane, into a really good quarterback,” Davis said. “I think that’s what you’re seeing in his senior year. I think you’re seeing a guy that has a bunch of experience and understands what we want.”

Central (4-3, 4-0) has an open week this week and will return to action on Nov. 20 against Odessa Permian (5-2, 3-1). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at San Angelo Stadium.