Roughriders bring home a 35-30 win over Tatum
The Center Roughriders got on the scoreboard early in Saturday night's clash against the Tatum Eagles at Eagle Stadium in a 35-30 win for Center.
The game was originally scheduled for Friday night action but the was postponed until a 7 p.m. Saturday kickoff in Tatum after a Friday weather delay with thunder and lightning in the skies over Tatum.
The Eagles won the coin toss and decided to kickoff giving the Riders an early opportunity. With just barely 2 minutes off the game clock the Riders struck pay dirt with a seven-yard Jake Hanson pass to Jarkerrion Watson. A successful PAT by Center's Alexis Lopez put the Riders on top, 7-0 at 9:38 in the first quarter.
Tatum came back in the period to tie things up, 7-7, on a long pass from Kendric Malone to Jayden Boyd from 78 yards out at 4:36 in the first quarter. Tying things up was as close to taking domination in the contest as the Eagles would have.
A workhorse for the Riders' offense was Keomadre Horace who had 185 yards rushing on 25 carries in unofficial stats. He was also credited with three Roughrider touchdowns.
The Riders defense played a big role in the defensive battle causing three Tatum turnovers in the first half with three interceptions and an Eagle fumble.
Hanson held onto the ball early in the second quarter taking it in from four yards out at 10:29 left in the first half. A Lopez PAT put Center up 14-7.
Tatum scored late in the first half when Eagles' Decartiyay Allison took the ball in from five yards out. Horace played a key role in ensuring the game did not stay tied for long.
With 2:02 left in the game Horace took the ball in from 55 yards out to send Center to the locker room with a 21-14 halftime advantage.
Tatum came back strong in the second half when Eagles Allison weaved through Rider defenders before being brought down short of the goal line. The Eagles settled for a field goal on the drive, setting the score at 21-17 Riders.
Horace showed the Eagles he was on the field to take care of business and picked up a TD with 9 minutes remaining in the third quarter. He came back later in the quarter with an eight-yard run with 4:53 left in the period to set the score at 28-24 with the Riders on top.
Center capitalized on an interception late in the third quarter and hit pay dirt with 28 seconds remaining the the quarter, putting Center out front, 35-24. Hanson was 13 of 21 on pass attempts in the game and was credited with 188 yards passing.
The Roughrider defense worked on wearing the Eagles offense down through much of the fourth quarter, but Tatum did not roll over and head to the locker room without giving the Riders a fight.
With 2:53 remaining in the game, Tatum would close the gap scoring scoring with a nine-yard rush from Allison. Center was able to retain ball control in the final couple of minutes and pulled off the 35-30 victory.
The win gives the Riders a 1-0 season mark and kicks off the Scott Ponder era as head Center coach with a winning mark. The Roughriders are home this Friday, Sept. 6, when they host Jefferson for a 7:30 p.m., kickoff.
The Jefferson Bulldogs are coming off a big 49-7 win over Pittsburg on Friday in a game in which Jefferson rolled up more than 500 yards offense. The game could give the Rider defense an even bigger challenge than did the Tatum matchup.
For more game action, sidelines and halftime scenes, please click on link below for photo gallery: