CENTERBURG — The Centerburg Trojans and the Highland Fighting Scots played a hard-fought rivalry game on Friday night that ended with the Trojans establishing their dominance with a 21-7 win and stemming the tide of any kind of Fighting Scot comeback.
In addition to winning the Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference game, the Trojans (5-3 overall, 3-2 KMAC) also celebrated their seniors for Senior Night. The seniors who were honored included Preston Barber, Ellis Grizenko, Hayden Sutton, Andrew Waddell, Garrett Campos, Ryan Hurst and Hayden Hankinson.
The Trojans were proud to win on Senior Night and head coach Andy Colella had a lot of good feedback regarding his team and their overall gameplay versus their rivals.
“It was a good win,” said Colella. “I’m just happy that our seniors were able to go out with a victory on their own field. I’m proud of them. They stuck with it, they kept their heads, they were able to finish and come out with a victory. I’m super proud of them.”
Centerburg got its first touchdown of the game on a 23-yard run by Donnell Marshall with 2:02 left in the first quarter. In the second quarter Centerburg got two unanswered touchdowns. The first one was a five-yard touchdown run by Trey Kendrick with 7:11 left to go in the quarter. The second was another five-yard touchdown run by Kendrick with 1:51 left to go in the quarter.
After a scoreless third quarter, Highland (3-5, 3-2) scored the last touchdown of the game on a QB sneak with 4:31 left to go in the game. Kadin Johnson turned the sneak into an astounding 65-yard touchdown run.
The touchdown at the end of the game proved to be too little to late for the Scots, who had struggled all game with missed opportunities.
Head coach Matt Jones was still impressed with the effort of his team even though they did not win, and stressed that his team would be back at practice the next day with their heads held high.
“Our effort was unbelievable,” Jones said. “We didn’t quit, we kept fighting, we went right until the whistle until the end. There’s no doubt about that. We just made too many mistakes on both sides of the ball at key times.
“But, it was an unbelievable effort through-out the game. We did some good things and we did some bad things. That’s football. I’m really proud of the kids. I’m proud of their effort. I love these guys. Come tomorrow morning we are going to get back to work. These are unbelievable kids and I love them to death.”
Marshall ended the night with 129 yards rushing on 17 carries to lead the Trojans. He also caught four passes for another 42 yards. Tyler Johnson added 51 yards rushing, while Kendrick had 41 yards rushing to go along with his two touchdowns. Hayden Sutton caught three passes for 43 yards, while Sam Hansen (25 yards) and John Sheasby (5 yards) both caught two passes.
Highland was led by Jack Weaver, who rushed for 89 yards. Johnson added 67 yards rushing, but hit on just 2 of 13 passes for 21 yards.
Both teams return to KMAC action next Friday at 7 p.m. Centerburg heads to Cardington, while Highland will play host to Danville.