St. Joe Central earns first playoffs since '95
By Andrew DeWitt The St. Joseph News-Press
The Central Indians are finally going back to the playoffs.
Central defeated Park Hill 24-6 on Friday night at Park Hill District Stadium to clinch second place in Class 5 District 12. It’s the first time the Indians have been to the postseason since 1995.
“We knew there were playoffs on the line, and we came out and played as a team,” said senior running back Corey Jackson, who rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown.
And the Indians did it with their backup quarterback.
Senior quarterback Darrin Dudley stood on the sidelines wearing a black hoody, unable to play the test because he failed his ImPACT test earlier this week which determined he could not return to action this week after suffering a concussion against Staley last Friday night.
Second-year coach Jeff Wallace turned to sophomore quarterback Jacob Kaiser to lead the Indians against the team that’s eliminated Central the previous three seasons. Kaiser only attempted four passes and completed two of them including a 35-yard touchdown pass to junior Nick Shores on third-and-22 on the first drive of the second half.
Shores’ first career touchdown set the tone for the rest of the game after the Indians chewed up 6 minutes, 30 seconds traveling 75 yards down the field.
“We had two seams up the middle, and I saw the safety out of the way so I just threw it in there,” Kaiser said. “Coach told me to just rely on my offensive line.”
That’s exactly what Wallace wanted out of his sophomore signal caller.
“I wanted Jacob Kaiser to be a game manager today and give one of the best running backs in the state 30-40 touches,” Wallace said. “Jacob did a nice job tonight.”
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