Despite numerous penalties and three turnovers, the Centre Cougars had a respectable showing Friday in their first home game of the season against Little River. They were defeated, 38-26, a distinct improvement over the blowout they suffered a week earlier at Solomon.
“I was curious to see how we would respond after the letdown of the first week,” head coach Tye Remy said. “After a shaky start, I was glad to see the intensity pick up. We started playing football.”
Little River scored two touchdowns and two conversions in the first half of the second quarter. A 14-yard pass from Cole Svoboda to Dylan Deines put Centre on the board. A missed conversion attempt made it 16-6 in favor of the Redskins, who added eight more points before the half.
The second half started with Little River in possession. Xavier Espinoza intercepted a pass on the first play, giving the ball back to the Cougars. Forty-five seconds later, Methvin threw an 18-yard pass to Deines for another Centre touchdown. The conversion attempt failed, and Little River led, 24-12.
Perhaps the Cougars’ most impressive possession of the game started with three minutes left in the third quarter, when they recovered a Little River fumble on their own 3-yard line. They worked their way down the field and were on the 24-yard line when the quarter ended. Three plays into the fourth quarter, Methvin ran 21 yards to score Centre’s third touchdown.
Barrett Smith scored the last touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run. Cole Svoboda caught a pass from Smith for the extra points.
Centre and Little River compared favorably on rushing and passing, and Centre had 18 first downs to Little River’s 11, but Centre’s 95 yards lost on penalties and the team’s trouble with conversions contributed to the loss.
Smith, Max Svoboda, and Methvin compiled 248 rushing yards, and Methvin passed for 145 yards. He threw two interceptions. Deines was the leading receiver with 10 catches for 117 yards. Smith, Svoboda, and Brendon Bina were the leading tacklers.
“Taking away a few mistakes would have helped,” Remy said. “If we start being ourselves, we will get better.”