Few cliches are as overused as the one about a teams overall efforts being the tale of two seasons.
For the Centralia varsity football team that stale concept unfortunately fits like a glove considering it won the first five games on 2017 prior to losing the final four.
The Panthers, 5-4 overall, 5-3 Clarence Cannon Conference, final chance to end this skid came last Friday at home on Senior Night against Macon, 6-3 overall, 6-2 CCC, in a league contest. But, despite taking a 13-8 lead in the second quarter after pitching a defensive shutout in the first, Macon came back to outscore its hosts 6-0 in the third and 12-6 in the fourth to defeat Centralia 26-19.
The numbers actually worked in the Panthers favor based on charting 249 rushing yards compared to 219 for Macon. The flip side of that equation was that Macon won the passing battle 129-99, giving both teams 348 total yards for the game.
Headlining this tale for Centralia was Trey Owens, who ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and made a 13-yard catch, Gus Stidham rushed for 38 yards and a score on 11 carries and Kaiden Davenport added 57 yards on 13 rushes. Clayton Simkins also made his presence felt by completing 11-of-16 passes and running seven times for 31 yards, Guy Moran made four receptions for 33 yards and Nick Wheaton came through with three catches for 42 yards.
Wheaton also contributed to the special teams for the Panthers by returning two kickoffs for seven yards, Stidham punted three times for 101 yards and Owens posted a 23-yard kickoff return. Luke Hunter also went 1-for-1 on point after attempts.
Stidham was even more impressive on defense with a team-high nine tackles, Davenport made six defensive stops and putting up five tackles each were Chris Hicks, Bradley Kaiser and Trevor Bodine. Owens, Wheaton and Grafton Litrell laid down two tackles a piece, as well.
Centralia begins Class 2, District 6, on Friday at home against Van-Far, 4-5 overall.