Roughriders kickoff district play with a 62-42 win over Tarkington
The Center Roughriders started district play out just the way they wanted — with a big 62-42 win over Tarkington.
The victory puts the Riders with a 1-0 mark in District 9-4A play and their season record at 4-3, with three of those victories coming in the last three outings for Head Coach Scott Ponder's Roughriders.
The Roughriders have a bye this week as they prepare to finish out the regular season with two of those district games on the road. Next up for Center is Shepherd on the road on Oct. 25.
Center returns home on Nov. 1 for its final home stand of the season against Huntington and then is on the road again to take on Jasper on Nov. 8.
With two district wins, Jasper is in first place in 4A-2 Region III, District 9. Center holds down second place at 1-0 in district; Tarkington is in third place at 0-1; Shepherd is in fourth place at 0-2 and Huntington, with a 0-0 district mark, is in fifth place.
Shepherd lost to Jasper this past Friday, 51-21 and plays Tarkington this Friday.
In last week's game the Longhorns got on the scoreboard first about halfway through the first quarter on a 54-yard drive. But Center came back in their own way five plays later when Jakerrion Watson latched onto a reception from 49 yards out to cross the goal line.
Center's PAT was blocked putting the Rider behind 7-6 at the 3:37 mark in the first period.
Early in the second quarter the Riders recovered a Longhorn fumble with quarterback Jake Hanson connecting with Zacc Smith for the Riders' second TD of the game putting up 13-7 with Alexis Lopez' PAT.
The Longhorns came back to reclaim the lead with 5:16 left in the second quarter when Tarkington's quarterback Parish crossed the goal line and up the 'Horn up 14-13.
Center would add two more touchdowns in the first half giving them a 27-21 lead going into the locker room. The first of those scores came when Smith pulled down a pass in the end zone with just under 4 minutes left in the half to put the Roughriders up 20-14.
Watson scored next on a 25-yard touchdown reception with less than two minutes left in the second quarter to give the Roughriders a 27-14 lead.
Tarkington came back with their own scoring drive late in the half on a 25-yard touchdown reception by Christian Howard, narrowing the Center lead to 27-21.
The Roughriders came back strong in the third quarter on the efforts of Keomondre Horace who rushed for two touchdowns giving Center a 20-point lead, 41-21. Tarkington came back with their own score with just under two minutes left in the third period, narrowing the Center lead to 41-28.
Watson took the Tarkington kickoff on the next play and returned the ball to about the Longhorns 25-yard line. Hollis Polk grabbed a Hanson pass for Center's next TD, putting the Riders out front, 48-28 late in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter Tarkington was unable to gain a first down conversion and ended up punting. Center capitalized with a two-play scoring drive with a Makel Johnson touchdown reception early in the final period.
With the PAT by Lopez Center was up 55-28.
The Longhorns would turn around and capitalize on a Rider fumble, driving on a 65-yard play to cut Center's lead to 55-35.
Center's Dekylin Hoyt scored Center's final touchdown with an 18-yard rushing TD with 2:23 left in the game.
Center rolled up 564 yards total offense against Tarkington, with 287 yards receiving and 277 yards in the rushing game. Sophomore Hanson was 13 for 17 passing attempts accounting for 287 yards and six touchdowns.
For the season Hanson is credited with 1,725 yards on his passing arm, connecting on 93 of 164 attempts. Hanson is averaging 18.5 yards per completion and has averaged 246.4 yards per game passing.
Horace remains the Riders' rushing leader through the first seven games. He's carried the ball 131 times for Center rolling up 1,412 yards and averaging just over 200 yards a game at 201.7 yards average.
Horace has 18 touchdowns for the season accounting for 108 points for Center.
On defense, Roughrider Jake Liker continues to be the team leader in tackles with 87 to his credit for the first seven games of the season with 65 of those being solos. Liker is averaging more than 12 tackles a game.
Senior Tyler Herndon and JaMichael Weathered were neck-in-neck for second and third place in the tackling department for Center. Herndon has 52 tackles for the year with 32 solos while Weathered has 51 tackles and 36 solo tackles through the first seven game.
For photo gallery from the Friday, Oct. 11, homecoming, please click below: