Central ends season with loss at Fayetteville

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FOUR ON ONE – Four Central defenders bring down a Fayetteville runner during Central’s season-ending loss Friday night.

In spite of all the uncertainty and hardships this year, much of it due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central Tigers still delivered a pretty good showing in 2020 for Tiger fans. But their season came to end Friday night as they fell to the hosting Fayetteville Tigers 37-0 in the first round of the state playoffs.

Central finished with a 4-5 overall record and a 3-3 tally in regional competition.

LOOKING FOR GAIN – Central’s Caleb Haskins scrambles to pick up some yardage during Central’s first-round loss Friday night.

Fayetteville, now 9-2 and 5-0, advances to host Huntland in the second round this upcoming Friday night.

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Central certainly had its hands full against Fayetteville, which entered the game as the fifth-ranked single A team in the state. Still Central did offer a pretty strong defensive performance, forcing Fayetteville to punt away several possessions, but Fayetteville’s quick offense broke through more times as it was stopped.

Fayetteville also boasted strong defense, effectively shutting down Central’s offensive efforts.

But Central came within under a yard of scoring late in the second quarter when senior Austin Craig caught a long pass from senor quarterback Thomas Crews and was stopped just shy of the end zone. Three times in a row senior Malik Mathes tried to punch it in, but he was denied every time, handing the ball back to Fayetteville on downs.

A quarterback sack by senior Noah Hampton ended Fayetteville’s following possession, but the clock retired Central at the half with a 12-0 deficit.

Fayetteville led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter after a 59-yard break-away run by K.J. Jackson on Fayetteville’s first possession. Jackson scored again, this time from 40 yards out, early in the second quarter. Central stopped both two-point attempts.

The third quarter witnessed two more touchdowns, each followed by successful conversions, by Fayetteville, which boasted a 28-0 lead at the end of the third.

Fayetteville scored its final touchdown early in the fourth, though the conversion attempt was stopped by Mathes, and then Fayetteville added three on a field goal kick before forcing Central to punt away its last possession of the game.

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