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Cougars runner up in sectional playoff

Marysville Advocate photos 

Centre quarterback Braxton Smith scores on a 4-yard keeper by breaking through the middle of Axtell’s defense with 3:25 to play in the third quarter.

Staff writer

The Centre football team got a plaque Friday but probably not the one they were hoping for. Centre ended its season at 8-3 as runner-up in an Eight-man Division II sectional playoff.

The 11th-ranked Cougars lost to 3rd-ranked Axtell on the road, 76-26.

Five seniors on the team played their last game for Centre High School.

Coach Kelly Steiner said they expected Axtell to throw the ball, and several times, after getting the Eagles into a third and long, they would complete a pass for a first down.

The absence of Luke Hudson in the secondary hurt, as well. He was injured in the previous week’s game. He started at safety all season.

“They did a good job of limiting our running game as they keyed in on Jensen and
Braxton,” the coach said.

Axtell jumped to a 16-0 lead after one quarter and added another 20 points in the second quarter.

The Cougars scored two touchdowns in the second quarter. Aidan Svoboda and Jensen Riffel each had a three-yard run into the end zone. Centre trailed 36-14 at halftime.

Braxton Smith ran three yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, but Axtell added 22 points to lead 56-20.

Centre opened the fourth quarter with a 36-yard pass from Smith to Jacob Hird in the end zone for the Cougars’ final touchdown.

The game was called at 3:56, after Axtell scored three consecutive touchdowns and led by 50 points.

Both teams had 13 first downs. Centre had no conversion points and was hurt by three turnovers, two fumbles, and one interception. Smith recovered one fumble.

Axtell held Riffel to 77 rushing yards on 19 carries. Quarterback Smith had 17 carries for 59 yards and one touchdown, and Svoboda had 14 carries for 53 yards and one touchdown.

Smith threw three completed passes for 82 yards, one resulting in a touchdown. One of his nine passes was intercepted.

Hird had two receptions for 77 yards and one touchdown, and Svoboda had one reception for five yards.

Lane Methvin led the defense with four tackles and four assists. Riffel had three tackles and five assists, and Matthew Madron and Devin August each had three tackles and one assist.

Other tacklers were: Hird, 2-4; Dakota Gardner, 1-1; Svoboda, 1-4; Dalton Stika, 1-1; and Quentin Bina, 1. Smith had one assist and one fumble recovery.

“We had a great season,” Steiner said. “It’s been a lot of fun to coach these guys. We’re certainly going to miss this group of seniors. They have been a great group.”

Last modified Nov. 21, 2019

 

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