Often times varsity football teams like to schedule a lesser opponent for its Homecoming game so good times can be had by one and all.
Centralia, on the other hand, slated Monroe City for last Friday's Homecoming contest, a team that was 7-0 entering the game after going 11-4 in 2016. Considering the Panther's had also lost consecutive games to Mexico and Palmyra, when they found themselves down 20-8 at the end if the first quarter, the squad was well aware there was a ever-escalating cascade of momentum they needed to upend in order to mount a proper comeback.
While Centralia did find a way to pitch a defensive shutout in the second quarter, as well as outscore its guests 12-6 in the fourth, Monroe City was still able to claim the third 7-6 on its way to winning 38-21.
Despite the outcome, the Panther's defense still had plenty to hang its hat on. This included Bradley Kaiser's team-high 11-tackle performanceChris Hicks and Gus Stidhma came throiugh with nine defensive stops each and posting six tackles with one sack was Caden Vanskike. Grafton Litrell also contributed to the cause with five tackles and making four defensive stops a piece were Trey Owens and Kaiden Davenport.
The flip side of this effort for the Panthers had several standouts as well, such as Clayton Simkins, who completed 14-of-23 passes for 127 yards and ran the ball eight times for five yards and a score, and Nick Wheaton had five catches for 46 yards and returned three kickoffs for a total of 51 yards. Davenport also charted 16 rushes for 87 yards, Owens added 13 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown and Guy Moran chipped in with four catches for 36 yards.
Special teams was slightly less active for the game and featured Luke Hunter making 1-of-1 point after attempt and Stidham punted twice for 78 yards.
For the contest Centralia racked up 178 rushing yards and 305 total yards. The problem was it also gave up 307 rushing yards and 78 passing yards for a total of 385.
The Panthers, 5-3 overall, 5-2 Clarence Cannon Conference, host Macon on Friday for Senior Night.