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Panther football starts season with a win

Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at 12:53 am

Centralia collars Mexico 26-21 on their home turf

The Panthers made the 15-mile trip to Mexico with a 0-0 record and returned home 1-0 after trouncing the Mexico Bulldogs 26-21.

In the process they gave Mexico a lesson in comeback football.

Centralia finished the first quarter down 7-0.

They caught and passed the Bulldogs early in the second, briefly leading them 12-7 before Mexico caught them with a minute left in the half to regain the lead 14-12.

Mexico’s joy did not last.

At 9:17 in the third, Centralia regained the lead, 18-14 and put a collar on Mexico’s running game for the rest of the evening.

They scored again at 11:43 in the fourth to make it 26-14, before lowering their guard in the last minutes of the game and allowing Mexico to successfully go up the middle for one last touchdown, but not enough to keep Centralia from winning 26-21.

Here is Centralia’s game, by the numbers:

Centralia’s offense took 70 passing yards and 223 rushing yards from the Bulldogs, for a total of 293 yards, compared to Mexico’s 251.

Mexico gained 16 passing yards and 235 rushing  yards.

Cayden Dunn scored Centralia’s first touchdown off a five-yard Cullen Bennett pass at 9:10 in the second.

Bennett followed that with a 28 yard pass to Beau Hatton for another touchdown at 1:11 in the second.

Then in the third, Kyden Wilkerson rushed for nine yards and a touchdown at the 9:17 mark and scored again at 11:33 in the fourth, rushing 39 yards for his second touchdown of the night.

Wilkerson led Centralia’s offense on the ground, rushing for 151 yards in 27 carries. Bennett rushed for 42 in eight carries and Breylen Whisler rushed for 32 yards in seven carries.

Hatton led the receivers with 28 yards and one touchdown reception. Mattie Robinson had two catches for 15 yards and Cayden Dunn had one catch for five yards and Centralia’s sole two-oint conversion.

Brayden Shelton led Centralia’s defense with nine total tackles, five solo and four assisted. Jesse Shannon had seven tackles, six solos and one assisted. Jesse Caballero  had six solos.

Shannon and Jack Romine each inflicted one tackle for a loss on Mexico.

Next Friday, Centralia plays Hallsville in Centralia.

For more, listen here to what Centralia Coach Tyler Forsee and Mexico Coach Steve Haag had to say about the game.

Centralia Head Coach Tyler Forsee



Mexico Head Coach Steve Haag










Jesse Caballero sacks Mexico’s quarterback early in the first quarter.

Kyden Wilkerson dives through Mexico’s defense for a touchdown

Beau Hatton lands in the endzone with his first touchdown catch of the season

Ethan Adams fights for the pass

Cullen Bennett rushing for a first down

Bennett hands off to Wilkerson