The Centre High School Cougars put up a fight Thursday against Madison-Hamilton at home in football, but they were overcome by the power of the Bulldogs and lost, 54-8.
With a record of 3-3 in district play, the team did not advance to the playoffs, and seniors Justin Deines, Houston Svoboda, Kendall Harding, Dylan Svitak, and Jerami Slayden, saw their last action as high school football players.
The team faced a formidable foe in Madison, which ranked third in the state and won the state 1A Division I championship in 2010 and 2011.
Centre gave up the ball on downs in its first possession after three incomplete passes. Madison then scored on a touchdown and conversion to lead, 8-0.
Centre’s second drive began on the 15-yard line. Quarterback Kyle Methvin rushed for 8 yards followed by 2 for a first down. Terren Thompson received a pass and ran to the 36-yard line, but the play was called back on a holding penalty.
On the next pass play, Madison was called for pass interference resulting in an automatic first down for the Cougars.
Houston Svoboda advanced the ball 7 yards on a pass from Methvin, and Methvin added 2 yards and 8 yards rushing for another first down.
After a couple of incomplete passes, the Cougars advanced 5 yards on a reception. A facemask call on Madison on fourth down resulted in a fourth-and-1 for the Cougars and another first down at the end of the quarter.
The Cougars continued to battle in the second quarter. After Methvin rushed for 10 yards, a Centre penalty resulted in a second-and-15. Thompson caught a pass and rushed to the 1-yard line. Justin Deines then ran the ball in for a touchdown. The conversion attempt was good, and the game was tied at 8 with 10:26 remaining in the half.
Things looked hopeful for the Cougars, but that was when the tide turned against them. They incurred numerous penalties — offsides, holding, and a block in the back — and a lost fumble, and Madison took advantage. The Bulldogs tore through Centre’s defenses time and again and had several long touchdown runs to score another 40 points by halftime. They led, 48-8.
At 10:48 in the third quarter, Madison scored a final touchdown, ending the game at 54-8 because of the 45-point mercy rule.
Centre rushed for 40 yards compared with 298 by Madison. Methvin threw for 75 yards in eight completions. He also threw two intercepted passes.
The Cougars ended the season with an overall record of 5-4. Coach Kelly Steiner said he was proud of his players’ performance.
“We had a lot of injuries and different adversities that our kids were able to handle, and they just kept battling,” he said. “We worked on getting better and were able to see improvement as the year went on.”