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Centre Cougars end season with a bang

Staff writer

The wind was fierce, with gusts up to 45 miles per hour, but that didn’t stop the Centre Cougars from defeating archrival Rural Vista, 60-12, Thursday at Bud Peterson Field.

The teams were tied 2-1 in league play and 3-2 in district play, so fans were expecting a competitive matchup, but it proved to be an easy victory for the Cougars.

The game was called at 9:39 in the third quarter after Cody Svoboda scored a touchdown that put Centre ahead by 48 points.

It was a ground game, and the Cougars proved to be unstoppable in advancing the ball.

Quarterback Braxton Smith scored the first touchdown, and Max Svoboda ran for the extra points.

After Rural Vista answered with a touchdown, Max Svoboda reached the end zone in each of Centre’s next two possessions, and Xavier Espinoza caught a pass for extra points. Centre led 22-6 at the end of the first quarter.

Rural Vista fumbled the ball on their own 11-yard line, making it easy for Centre to score again. Smith ran in for a touchdown.

Rural Vista scored another 6 points after that and put Centre on its 16-yard line in its next possession.

The Cougars marched relentlessly down the field, and Jensen Riffel carried the ball in from the 10-yard line. After he ran for the extra points, Centre led, 36-12.

In its next possession, Rural Vista turned the ball over on downs at Centre’s 7-yard line. Max Svoboda ran 62 yards for a touchdown and Riffel added the extra points.

With 16 seconds remaining in the first half, Aiden Svoboda intercepted a pass deep in Rural Vista territory and ran 14 yards for another Centre touchdown. Kyle Naerebout caught a pass for the extra points.

The Cougars weren’t finished. They scored a safety with a tackle in the end zone for another two points as time ran out in the second quarter. Centre led, 52-12.

Centre’s touchdown in the opening minutes of the third quarter ended the game.

Max Svoboda was the leading rusher, with 9 carries for 110 yards. Riffel had 10 carries for 83 yards, and Smith had 8 carries for 74 yards.

With a record of 5-3 overall, the victory was a satisfying ending to the high school football careers of seniors Max Svoboda, C.J. Thompson, Cody Svoboda, and Jacob Bittle.

“We had a very good football season,” coach Kelly Steiner said. “I am very pleased at how it turned out. We didn’t have a huge number go out, but the ones that did were very dedicated and great to work with.”

Last modified Nov. 2, 2017

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