When two players live together and have a field day in the passing game, it must be inevitable it will elicit similar responses from redshirt sophomores Christian Moore and Tyson Rainwater even a couple of days apart.

“It’s my roommate right here,” Moore said while looking at his receiver after Central Washington University’s 44-6 win over Azusa Pacific University last Saturday. “We’ve been grinding together all summer, building that connection.”

“Roommate connection,” Rainwater said after Monday’s practice. “We’ve been grinding together all summer, day in, day out, just throwing in the backyard, doing all that little stuff together. So, yeah, we got that chemistry.”

Living together goes a long way, and it paid dividends for the Wildcats as Moore completed 26-of-37 passes for 423 yards and five touchdowns with three going towards Rainwater. The 6-foot-3 wideout also recorded 10 receptions for 177 yards.

After two games, the chemistry is palpable.

Moore replaced Canon Racanelli late in the second quarter of the West Texas A&M matchup on Oct. 5 and nearly erased a 31-point deficit. In the 48-41 loss, Moore went 18-of-31 with 339 yards and four touchdowns.

Rainwater only saw two targets from Racanelli, catching one for five yards. Then when Moore entered, he and Rainwater linked up on five completions for 111 yards with one touchdown that went for 55-yards.

That’s two consecutive 100-yard performances from Rainwater, which is the first time a Wildcat receiver had back to back 100-yard games since Jesse Zalk in 2015.

“I just got to give it to my lineman, the quarterback coaches, you know, this practice they really got us set us for the game,” Rainwater said. “We felt like our game plan was really ready to be executed.”

Coming into the 2019 season, Central head coach Chris Fisk knew Rainwater was primed to be one of the team’s top wideouts. Rainwater was plagued by injuries last season, appearing in eight games and starting in four. He corralled 16 catches for 193 yards and three touchdowns.

This season, he’s leading the Wildcats in yards (437) on 26 catches with four touchdowns.

“Tyson had a tough season a year ago because he was injured all season and really had to play through some things,” Fisk said. “Didn’t have the year he wanted and rededicated himself to his body and what he was doing, and he’s having a great season this year.”

Rainwater is a deep threat on the outside to the opposition, especially with his height and physicality. In the past two games, he’s caught two passes for 55 yards or more.

“He’s physical. He’s a big body. And he’s long,” Fisk said. “… He understands the game really well so he knows how to position himself — and he’s got chemistry with the quarterback. I think that helps a lot, too.

“He’s a good hands catcher, he tracks the ball well. Being a deep ball receiver is really difficult. Not everybody has that skill set. He’s worked really hard to improve his over the last year, so look for big things out of him moving forward.”

But Fisk had to mention the depth of the receiver group. There’s seven of them with at least 100 yards — four with 200 or more. Junior Tony Archie is second in yards (402) behind Rainwater and leads the team with five touchdowns.

Six games in, there are nine players with at least one receiving touchdown.

“The good thing for us right now is we have a crowded house at receiver,” Fisk said. “So these guys are all probably buying Christian lunch here and there to try and get an extra ball or two.”


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