Panthers lose, 60-14 to the Falcons
It was great journey and for Centralia the voyage is over.
The 8 and 1 Centralia Panthers lost the district championship game 60-14 to the Blair Oaks Falcons.
Centralia had minutes of brilliance though and basically won the second quarter, one observer said.
But the first quarter was definitely not pretty for Centralia.
Blair Oaks’ passing game reared its head early and they Falcons finished the first quarter up 26-0. Their first two touchdowns came off 70- and 30-yard passes. Their quarterback Dylan Hair ran for one, then he passed 10-yards for another.
Centralia’s offense found itself in the second.
Late in the second Luke Hunter showed his speed. At 6:30 in the second, he took a Beau Gordon hand off 66 yards for a touchdown.
Then with 17 seconds left in the half, Hunter torpedoed through the Blair Oaks line for a one yard touchdown. Then Gordon lasered a pass to Hunter for a successful two-point conversion.
The momentum was there, but halftime got in the way.
Their defense was just quick and scrappy, their line men were long and lean, they looked
more like defensive backs than linemen. Against the Falcon defense, Centralia took 257 yards, to Blair Oaks’ 620.
After halftime, Centralia was never able to get back on the scoreboard. Twice in the third, they came within a finger, but both times, Blair Oaks’ Steven Marble made timely interceptions.
The second quarter ended,
33-14, Blair Oaks.
The third ended 46-14, Blair Oaks.
The fourth, and the game ended 60-14, Blair Oaks.
Gordon passed for 136 yards versus Harr’s 443.
Things were more comparable on the ground. Centralia rushed for 121 yards compared to Blair Oaks’ 177.
Hunter led the team in rushing with 102 yards in 14 attempts, backed up by Gordon who covered nine yards in 10 attempts. Ethan Adams rushed for seven yards in two attempts.
Nathan Green led Centralia’s receivers, gaining 50 yards with two receptions. Liam Hill followed with 32 yards in two receptions, backed up by Jackson Wells with took 23 yards in three receptions.
“I am super proud of these guys, they do not know how to quit,” Forsee said afterward. “We came from behind against Hallsville. We came from behind against Bowling Green. We came from behind against Palmyra. This game didn’t tell me anything except these boys refuse to quit.”
The season on the road, COVID-19, having their first game taken away from them, Forsee said how the team coped with them were just more examples of how the Panthers turned negatives into positives.
“Those scores,” he said discussing Hunter’s touchdowns, “are just examples of our kids not quitting. They don’t know how to quit.”
Check back later for an updated version of this article, or see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard