Panthers win 44-6, now 4-0
The winning just keeps on coming.
The Centralia Panthers football team are now undefeated at 4-0 after their 44-6 win over the Clark County Indians, Friday, September 25 in Kahoka.
It started out with some suspense.
After Beau Gordon started things off with a 51-yard touchdown pass Luke Hunter around the seven-minute mark, Clark County did not waste time.
Clark County quarterback Sam Wheeler hit back with a minute left to complete a downfield drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Layne Sommer to tie the game.
Neither team was successful with their early two-point conversion attempts.
“We thought we saw some weaknesses there with their pass coverage,” Ethan Allen, Indians
head coach said afterward. “We were able to exploit them, once, then Centralia made some adjustments and that door closed.”
The door and the quarter closed with the game tied at 6-6.
Centralia broke though the Indians’ defense early in the second.
A the 9:30 mark, Gordon faked a handoff to Hunter. Then as Hunter headed west, trailing would-be Indian tacklers, Gordon jetted three strides east, pivoted and run straight through the east side of the Indians line for a 15-yard touchdown. Next, he connected with a short slant pass to Nate Greene, completing a two-point conversion to make it 14-6 Panthers.
Gordon’s arm was the gift that kept on giving. A few minutes later he lasered a 31-yard touchdown pass into Liam Hill’s waiting, airborne arms. This time it was Hunter who completed a two-point conversion with a blazing rush up the middle to make it 22-6.”
Allen said Hunter along with Gordon on offense, along with Lane Mathews on defense, were some of the players on Clark County’s radar. “Number 42, (Mathews,) versatile, fast and very aggressive,” Allen said. “I felt we needed to block him and make plays on him… We knew he could be a handful and he was.”
Mathews led the Panthers in tackles with eight solos and three assists. He was followed by Khader Saleh with four solos and one assist and Max Hunter with three solos.
But the half wasn’t over yet and neither was the scoring.
With 15 seconds left, Centralia reopened the Luke Hunter show. This time Gordon hit him with a 17-yard pass with which Hunter sprinted over the goal line. While their two-point conversion was buried under a pile or red jerseys, the score was still Centralia’s, 28-6.
Hunter led the team in receptions, two, for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Adam Hatton was one for 32 yards and Hill was one for 31 yards and one touchdown.
Hunter led Centralia, and the game in rushing with 143 yards in 11 attempts and one touchdown.
Gordon rushed for 119 yards in 12 attempts and one touchdown, followed by Ethan Hargis who went 41 for five.
“Our offensive line was really there for us tonight,” Hunter said. “Numbers lie, they don’t tell the whole story. When somebody makes a three-yard gain, it’s because those guys on the line had our backs and cleared the way.”
“They are definitely bigger than last year,” Allen said.
They hit their marks and their blocks tonight,” agreed Forsee. “They really did their job, the whole offense did. We did not shoot ourselves in the foot like we have earlier.”
After halftime, Centralia promptly scored again, putting eight more on the 29 seconds into the third when Hunter ran the ball 85 yards for his third touchdown of the game. Gordon hit Hill for the two-point conversion pass to make it 36-6.
“Liam was a factor tonight,” Tyler Forsee, Centralia Panthers Head Football Coach said. “He played an important role in the offense.”
By then the Indians defense was paying a lot of attention to Hill, Greene and Hunter.
So Forsee broke out the Wilkerson.
Clark County already knew he was there. At times it seemed as if every Centralia tackle not followed by Lane Mathews’ name had something to with Kyden Wilkerson.
Then at 6:48 in the third, Gordon handed to ball to Wilkerson who drilled through two yards of Indians defense for a touchdown. A moment later he did it again when Gordon handed him the ball for the two-point conversion to make it a 44-6 win for Centralia.
The Panthers won in the stats as well as on the scoreboard. Centralia’s offense took 523 yards to Clark County’s 236.
Centralia rushed for 338 yards to Clark County’s 93.
Centralia had 22 first downs to Clark County’s 13.
Due to Coronavirus concerns, Centralia’s October 3, away game in Highland has been cancelled and instead the Panthers and their fans will be rolling to Cuba, Missouri.
For the full article, see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard