Riders playoff season halted by Sealy

Center's Bi-District championship team foiled in Week II of Class 4A D II playoffs

The 2020 football season came to an end Friday night for coach Scott Ponder's Center Roughriders who were defeated in Week II of 4A D II playoff action by the Sealy Tigers.

The game was played at Waco ISD Stadium with a large following of hopeful Rider fans in the stands.

The Roughrider offense had one of their lowest outputs of the season while the Tigers were able to capitalize on Center miscues, including a pass interception and three fumbles — all of which were recovered by Sealy.

The Roughrider offense clicked during their opening possession after marching down field on a series of plays, including several nice runs by senior standout KeAmodre Horace. At about the 1-yard line early in the first quarter it looked like Riders were going to cross the goal line early.

But those hopes were dashed when the Riders turned the ball over on fourth down. Sealy took over and was able to advance the ball downfield before meeting the tough Center defense head on and turned the ball over themselves.

The Roughriders were able to score first at the 5:39 mark in the first quarter when the Sealy offense had been pushed back nearly to the goal line and were forced to punt from deep in the end zone.

The Tiger punt was blocked and recovered in the end zone by Center's Timothy Davis to put the Riders on the scoreboard, 7-0 after a successful PAT.

While the Roughriders did not know it at the time, that score by the Center special teams on defense would be the only time in the game the Riders would hit pay dirt.

Although things were close as the first quarter came to an end with a 7-7 tie.

Sealy came back on their next possession and scored less than two minutes later with 4:13 left in the period.

For about two-thirds of the second period the Rider defense continued to hold the Tigers at bay. Instead of scoring a touchdown late in the period, Sealy had to settle for a field goal with 4:19 left in the half.

The Riders appeared to have a chance to regain the lead before the half ended after a nice pass reception from Roughrider quarterback Jake Hanson to Marques Hall and some rushing yardage by Horace moved the ball deep in Tiger territory.

But that Roughrider drive came to and end as the clock wound down on the half when Sealy intercepted a Hanson pass and ran it downfield for their own TD with just six seconds left in the half.

The Tigers took a 17-7 lead into the locker room at halftime and they were able to contain the Center offense in the second half./

Sealy added seven points in the third quarter giving the Tigers a 24-7 lead going into the final quarter.

The Tiger offense continued to dominate in the fourth period, adding a TD with 8:43 left in the game, to move ahead 31-7. About three minutes later the Tigers sealed the deal and their claim to the Class 4A – D II Area championship trophy when they scored again with just more than 5 minutes left in the game.

Center's passing game was virtually shutdown by the Sealy secondary for the lowest passing yardage output of the season for the Roughriders. Hanson connected on 6-of-14 attempts for only 35 yards.

The Roughrider running game sputtered too with only 116 total rushing yards for the night. Horace had one of his lowest rushing nights of the season. He again gained more than 100 yards — but just barely with 101 yards rushing to his credit.

But the Tigers also forced three fumbles at the hands of Horace – a factor which likely played a key role in the outcome of the game as Sealy recovered all three.

While the Riders came up on the losing end of the area playoffs, Hanson at the helm of the offense, finished the season with 1,422 yards passing. He completed 114 of 220 attempts for a 51.8 completion rate.

Horace rolled up 2,309 yards rushing for the season along with another 55 yards receiving for a total of 2,364 yards offense. He averaged 197 yards per game.

Marques Hall had 575 all purpose yards on the season for the Riders. Those came from receptions, rushng, kickoff returns, punt returns and interception returns.

Leading the defense for the Roughriders in tackles were Colton Crawford with 138 for the season; Jake Liker with 116; Marques Hall, with 105 tackles; Chase Adkison with 94; and Timothy Davis with 88 tackles for the 2020 season.

Leading the team in sacks was J. McCollister with six sacks; and Chase Adkison, credited with five sacks.

Scores by quarterback

Team       1     2        3         4       Final

Center     7     0        0         0        7

Sealy       7   10        7       14        38

For more photos from Friday's playoff game against Sealy, please visit: https://lightandchampion.smugmug.com/Centers-season-comes-to-an-end-in-playoffs-Round-II

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