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Cougars end season on winning note

Staff writer

It was not enough to get them to the playoffs, but a 34-32 victory over Rural Vista at White City on Thursday left a sweet taste in the mouths of the Centre Cougars, their coaches, and their fans.

“What a game!” coach Matt Warta said. “We got our game going and never looked back. I am very happy our seniors got a win in their last game.”

Seniors were Dylan Deines, Cole Methvin, Daniel Rudolph, Alex Stika, and Brendon Bina.

Max Svoboda was the star of the game with 31 carries for 163 yards and 2 receptions for 56 yards. He scored all 5 of Centre’s touchdowns including a 51-yard pass reception from Deines.

Rural Vista had a difficult time stopping Centre’s rushing offense but was formidable from the air, with numerous pass receptions.

Centre scored first and led 14-6 at the end of the first quarter and 28-22 at halftime.

The game went right down to the wire. A 2-point conversion by Methvin in the third quarter may have made the difference, allowing for a Centre 2-point lead, 34-32, as time was running down in the fourth.

Centre was forced to punt with 38.6 seconds remaining, and Cody Svoboda’s kick sent the ball to the Rural Vista 1-yard line.

Cougar fans were worried that Rural Vista might repeat its first-half performance when the Heat scored on a long running play with 2.6 seconds left on the clock. But good defense against the pass by Xavier Espinoza and good blocking on the front line stopped them as time ran out, resulting in a 2-point Centre victory.

Centre ended the season with a record of 3-3 in district play and 4-4 overall.

“I really enjoyed my first season as head coach,” Warta said. “We had our ups and downs, but my team gave their all every game.”

Statistics

Centre 34 Rural Vista 32

Rushing: Teams, Centre 74-353, Rural Vista 16-123; M. Svoboda, 31-163; Jensen Riffel, 13-129; Deines, 18-63; Braxton Smith, 2-8.

Passing: Teams, Centre, 4-77, RV 21-349; Deines, 9-4-77.

Pass receptions: M. Svoboda 2-56; C. Svoboda, 1-7; Espinoza 1-14 and 1 interception, 1-23.

Tackles: Espinoza, 9; M. Svoboda, 7; Deines, 5; Brendon Bina, 5, Kyle Naerebout, 3; Cole Methvin, 1; Cody Svoboda, 1.

Last modified Nov. 3, 2016

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