Staley gets past tough St. Joe Central
By Ross Martin The St. Joseph News Press
Central coach Jeff Wallace wants this year’s team to write its own history.
The Indians nearly scribed a huge chapter Friday night against Staley at Noyes Field. Despite a inauspicious start, Central battled Class 5’s top team the whole way in a 28-14 loss, holding the No. 1-ranked Falcons to their second-lowest point output of the season.
In an inspired performance, Central showed its mettle in the Class 5 District 12 loss.
“I saw it in our eyes before the game,” Wallace said. “They were just different. They were locked in, focused at the task at hand. “I said these guys are ready to go. They’re going to play well tonight, and they did.”
The last of Central’s two postseason appearances came in 1995, and this year’s Indians will have to wait a week to see if they can join the exclusive club. Next Friday, Central battles Park Hill (5-4) in matchup of teams 1-1 in district play for an elusive playoff spot.
“They’re going to play their best, and I promise you they’ll get our best,” Wallace said.
If Central can squeeze past its historical road block, the Indians could earn another shot at the Falcons in the playoffs.
The Indians (5-4) fell behind 21-0 after 14 minutes against unbeaten Staley (9-0) but turned in three strong quarters after the frustrating start despite a limited offense. Central star running back Corey Jackson carried only three times on Central’s first three possessions and wound up with only 24 yards on 17 tries.
The defense kept the Indians close, and quarterback Darrin Dudley ran for 72 yards and a pair of scores and made eight of his 13 completions to Cordell Bell for 73 yards.
“We just kept hitting them in the mouth, just kept playing physical, never backed down,” Central lineman Jack Viestenz said. “We’ve got a darn good football team, too. We were excited to be here.”
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