Panthers win, 28-12
Despite predictions to the contrary, the Centralia Football Panthers beat the visiting South Shelby Cardinals.
Despite what Panther Head Coach Tyler Forsee called a sluggish first quarter, Centralia won their seventh game of the season, 28-12 over the visiting Cardinals.
South Shelby started strong.
Barely two minutes into the game, they scored with a short pass, but failed on the two-point conversion, something that became a pattern for them, and perhaps an important factor.
Though they did score on Centralia twice, they never completed a two-point conversion.
Centralia on the other hand never attempted one, instead relying on kicker Nathan Timpe’s right foot to deliver a reliable extra point all four times one was required.
Centralia hit back at the 6:46 mark when Cullen Bennett completed an arching 12-yard pass to Jack Romine for the first of Centralia’s four touchdowns.
Then Timpe was called and he delivered to give Centralia a 7-6 lead.
Faithful fans of the Black and White did not get to breathe easy for long.
Late in the second quarter, as the temperature dropped from comfortable to “zip up the jacket,” South Shelby scored again off another short jab, this time a seven-yard run. Again, they failed at the two-point conversion.
Though the Cardinals threatened several times more, that was their last score of the game.
Nevertheless, at halftime South Shelby led, 12-7.
Centralia struck back early in the second half, when, just a minute into the new half, Wilkerson taking a Bennett handoff 22 yards for a touchdown, topped off with another Timpe extra point kick. Eight minutes later Wilkerson drilled threw South Shelby’s line from one yard out, and with a little help from Timpe, that made it a 21-6 ball game.
The Panthers, and Wilkerson, were not done.
With five minutes and change left in the game, Wilkerson took the handoff, faked east, spun, too a few steps west in the back field and then ran through 28 yards’ worth of South Shelby defenders for the game’s last touchdown.
Timpe topped it off with the extra point to make it 28-12 and win number seven for the Panthers.
Centralia’s offense took 380 yards in 47 plays while their defense held South Shelby to 425 yards in 63.
“Great job, great job,” Forsee told the team afterward. “A lot of people had a hand in this. O-line, we needed and edge and you guys were freaking excellent. Backs, great job pounding that line, getting those tough yards. Offense I thought we clicked very well, very balanced. Had a lot of people make very big grabs in big situations. Defense, we bent we bent, then how many fourth-down stops did we get when they were marching on us. Great job.”
Beau Hatton led Centralia’s defense with nine tackles, six solo and six assisted. Jesse Shannon had six, five solo and two assisted. Wilkerson had 4.5, two solo and three assisted.
Wilkerson led the offense on the ground, rushing for a game-high 181 yards in 17 attempts for three touchdowns. Breylen Whisler backed him with 71 yards in 12 attempts and Bennett rushed for 19 yards in four attempts.
At passing time, Bennett passed for 110 yards in 13 attempts, yielding one touchdown and one interception.
South Shelby’s Trey Countryman passed for 177 yards in 33, with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Next Friday Centralia rolls north to Macon for their final game of the regular season.
For the complete article see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard