Roughriders take on Liberty in playoffs

Game scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Woodville
The Riders are scheduled to take on Liberty at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Woodville High School for the Bi-District Championship game.

Momentum was on the side of the Center Roughriders during the first half of the Class 4A D2 District 9 championship game against Jasper last Friday night.

Unfortunately, that momentum switched sides at halftime and the Riders ended up on the losing end to the Bulldogs, 54-25. On the positive side, the loss did not stop Center from advancing in post season playoff action.

The Riders are scheduled to take on Liberty at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Woodville High School for the Bi-District Championship game. The Liberty Panthers ended up as the third place team in 4A D2 Region III, District 10.

Center will be the home team for the game to be played at 700 Eagle Drive in Woodville, Center ISD officials said. All tickets will be sold at the gate with prices being $6 for adults and $4 for students, CISD officials said.

Passes accepted will include THSCA, senior citizen, District 9-4A and District 10-4A, school officials said. The winner of Friday's game is slated to go up the following week against the winner of a Giddings versus Washington contest.

The Center Roughriders' early momentum in the Jasper game had been fanned by a five-game winning streak which included a 6-4 season mark and a 3-0 district record. For Jasper, the game represented upping their season mark to 10-0.

Jasper is scheduled to play Hamshire-Fannett at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lumberton High School Stadium. The Riders and Liberty have had one common opponent this season in Huntington.

In those games both came out on top. Liberty beat Huntington 45-7 while Center won by a 42-24 score.

In last week's Center game Jasper scored first after a Center fumble with a touchdown early in the opening period and held a 6-0 lead after a failed 2-point conversion attempt. That lead did not last long as Center's Keamodre Horace held onto a Jayden Hicks pass from 12 yards out.

The Alex Lopez PAT was good to put the Roughriders ahead, 7-6. On Lopez kickoff the Riders were able to land on the ball after a miscue on the part of Jasper players.

Hicks hit pay dirt three plays later on a 1-yard run followed by Lopez PAT with 3:25 in trhe first quarter putting the Riders on top 14-6.

With 5:23 left in the second quarter scored another touchdown and again the conversion attemt was no good leaving the Riders ahead, 14-12. With 2:36 left in the half Jasper capitalized on a Roughrider fumble and with less than a minute in the half scored another TD.

This time the conversion attempt was good giving Jasper a 20-14 lead. But as the clock wound down the Roughriders held tough with Hicks connecting with Jakerrion Watson moving the ball down field.

With 5 seconds left in the half Lopez booted the ball through the uprights for a field goal narrowing the Jasper lead to 20-17 at the half.

When the Bulldogs came back on the field they put up 14 points in the third and added another 20 points in the fourth quarter. The momentum the Center offense had in the first half never quite clicked enough in the second half to keep the Riders in the ball game.

While Center lost the district championship game team members have rolled up some impressive stats in regular season play. Leading the way is junior quarterback Hicks who is credited with 579 yards rushing while connecting with receivers for another 1,606 yards for a regular season offensive effort of 2,185 yards.

In the running game Horace racked up 847 yards rushing on 84 carries with an average of 10.1 yards per carry and about 106 yards rushing average per game.

For photos from Center's Senior Night and final regular season activities, please click here: