Panthers take win number 7,
20-0 at South Shelby
Undefeated in the Clarence Cannon Conference, undefeated for the season.
“Every time we come up here it is a slugfest,” said one observer.
“It was ugly, but it was a win,” said Jim Newsted, the now 7-0 Centralia Panthers head football coach, of the Panthers’ 20-0 win over the South Shelby Cardinals. “20-0, I will take it.”
It was Centralia’s third shutout of the season.
Part of “ugly,” might have been Rob Wilt’s 2-5 Cardinals holding top-five Centralia to three touchdowns.
“It was a physical game, very physical,” Wilt said. They were very solid up front, especially number 44, Trevor Bodine, he is a horse. And that 13, Max Hunter, he made an impact. We were looking for Luke Hunter and got him instead.”
Centralia scored early, at the 7:53 mark, Jake Friedel turning Centralia quarterback’s handoff into a curving north side run into the game’s first touchdown.
Durant, Friedel and Max Hunter led the team and the game in touchdowns, scoring one each. Durant also passed for 66 yards.
Durant led the team in rushing with 93 yards; Friedel rushed for 43 and Hunter 40.
“Max stepped up tonight and showed some growth,” Newsted said. “Especially when Jake had to miss the fourth quarter with a twisted ankle, he did a great job of carrying the ball.”
Hunter was humble. When asked how he knew were the holes were in South Shelby’s line he said. “I had some
When asked to elaborate he credited his teammates. “Lane Matthews stepped up and made some good blocks for us… He’s an important blocker.”
He took a moment to discuss playing against South Shelby’s defense. “We had four starters out and the weather was kind of getting to us. We just weren’t prepared to play the first half, we fixed that the second half. We adjusted some things. We made sure we were making the blocks on the line, did a better job of reading things.”
Luke Hunter and Jake Friedel were two of the players Luke O’Loughlin, the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator said were among those Panthers for whom they tried to prepare. “Centralia’s skills kids as group, we knew they would be tough.”
But for many, the discussion still came back to the South Shelby defense.
“We were very proud of our defense tonight,” Wilt said. “They played hard… Tonight they did a good job of keeping the blocks off the linebackers… Great effort, but Centralia’s a total team. They move the ball, the do a lot of jet sweeps.” He said the main reason South Shelby was able to slow Centralia’s offense was, “we just told our kids to focus on the blocks in front of them… When we didn’t we got in trouble.”
Though the never scored South Shelby’s quarterback Daniel Burke receiver treated Centralia’ fans to a pair of heart-stopping moments when Burke would throw a long pass, Durant and AJ Hombs would bounce the pass off their fingertips only to see it land in a South Shelby receiver’s diving hands. But despite those surprises, they never could get across the goal line.
For the complete article see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.