Roughriders hold off last second drive for 35-30 win

Center traveling to Jefferson Friday for non-district clash

Photo caption: Center quarterback Jayden Hicks, No. 2, works at evading a Tatum defender in Friday night's season opening 35-30 victory for the Roughriders.

By Mike Elswick

The Center Roughriders' offense rolled up 307 yards total offense and five touchdowns to hold off the Tatum Eagles, 35-30, in a back-and-forth battle that went down to the final seconds of the season opener.

“We didn't play very well defensively,” said Barry Bowman, athletic director and head football coach. “There were a lot of little things but they added up.”

What they added up to was about 545 yards of total offense for Tatum. While the defense had some miscues in the contest, when it came down to the wire in a clutch, do-or-die situation for the Roughriders, they came through.

That play was in the final seconds of the game as the Eagles threw a long pass to a receiver in the end zone, which would have put Tatum on top as the clock ran out.

“Our defensive secondary was right where they needed to be on that play,” Bowman said. The ball was overthrown out of the end zone with Center defenders clearly dominating any options Tatum many have had to score on the game's final play.

The win has the Roughriders entering Week II of the 2018 season with a 1-0 record as they travel to Jefferson this Friday for another non-district game. Most of Center's offensive yards came from the throwing arm of junior quarterback Jayden Hicks who connected on 14 of 18 attempts for 283 yards passing.

For complete story please see this week's edition of The Light and Champion.