Follow Us On:

Centralia Panthers play Hallsville Indians for football bragging rights

Posted on Friday, September 1, 2023 at 11:59 pm

Centralia wins 65-36

The Route B Rivalry came to Centralia Friday night, September 1.

Undefeated Centralia hosted undefeated Hallsville.

Listen below to Hallsville Head Coach Justin Conyers discuss the Centralia game.

By 10 p.m. only one Centralia was still undefeated, the Panthers beat the Indians 65-36 after four quarters of full-moon high school football.

Both teams scored on their first possession, Hallsville first, Abe El-Fenaish one yard up the middle, followed by a Colton Nichols two-point conversion, to put Hallsville up 8-0.

Listen Below to Centralia Head Coach Tyler Forsee discuss the win over Hallsville.

That initial punch to the Panthers’ nose was the last time they held the lead, because it also punched open the Panther offense’ floodgates.

Centralia took the ball and Cullen Bennett carried the ball six yards for a touchdown, topped off by a two-point conversion pass to Anthony Ford.

Drayden Conde, Jesse Caballero, Bennett twice consecutively would all score touchdowns for Centralia before Hallsville score again.

The first quarter ended 20-8, Centralia, but Hallsville got back in the game in the second.

That was when Hallsville quarterback Brayden Metheny threw a 52-yard pass to Zach Jouret to whittle Centralia’s lead to 32-14 going into halftime.

The pigskin slugfest was by no means over.

Centralia scored 20 points in the third to Hallsville’s six.

Conde and Caballero scored for Centralia, El-Fenaish off a 70-yard run for Hallsville, with another two-point conversion by Nichols.

Centralia eased off the gas a bit in the fourth, only scoring 13 points to Hallsville’s 16.

Mattie Robinson scored off a 15-yard Bennett pass, topped off by one of Ford’s extra-point kicks and Caballero ran a 10-yard touchdown route, topped off by a Ford extra point kick.

Metheney threw two touchdown passes, the first for 26 yards to Isaac Stinson, the second to Jouret. Nichols ran in a two-point conversion followed by Jouret catching a conversion pass from Metheney.

Afterward, Dunn talked about what led to the win.

“I think the difference was made by our hard work and dedication,” he said when asked about the deciding factors between the two teams. “We have been working really hard all week at practice and we had a really big motivation for this game, a big goal when it comes to week two normally… It’s really just all the hard work we’ve put in throughout the summer leading up to this point. I think all my teammates have completely proven themselves here.”

Nichols and Stinson were the two Hallsville players Dunn said were on the teams watch-list. “Nichols because of his speed and Stinson because he could jump pretty high, but we kind of took care of that throughout the game.”

Centralia’s offense took 568 yards away from Hallsville, 161 in the air and 407 on the ground.

Bennett passed for 161 yards in 17 attempts and one touchdown.

Caballero lead the team on the ground, rushing for 173 yards and three touchdowns.

Conde rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns, Bennet for 113 yards and three touchdowns while Brayden Decker rushed for two yards and one touchdown.

Dunn had a 41-yard reception, Logan Rosenfelder had two for 36 yards and Robinson one 15-yard catch for a touchdown.

The Panther defense held Hallsville’s offense to 421 yards, 207 in the air and 214 on the ground.

Caballero and Dunn led the defense with five tackles each. Caballero had five solos, while Dunn had three solos and two assisted.

Rex Bryson, Elliott McCoy and Emery Mast each had four tackles.

Breylen Whisler, Robinson and Ian Tuggle had three each.

Tuggle had two sacks and one interception while Robinson had one interception.

Hallsville and Centralia are both on the road next Friday.

Hallsville plays at Boonville, Centralia at Palmyra.

For the complete article, see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.