RUSK — The Center Roughriders failed to take advantage of a few turnovers but were able to pull off a 33-30 victory over the Rusk Eagles on Friday night. The Roughriders forced five turnovers.
The score remained close to start the game. Rusk struck first after receiving the opening kickoff. The Eagles moved the ball well on the ground, but stalled inside the red zone and elected to kick a field goal. Leoncio Rivera put one through the uprights and gave Rusk a 3-0 lead.
Center turned the ball over on downs on its first possession, but forced Rusk to punt. Rivera’s punt landed around the line of scrimmage and rolled backward to the Rusk 31.
The Roughriders took over from there and scored on their fourth play. Cameron Cloudy ran it in from 11 yards as time ran out in the first quarter to give Center a 6-3 lead after the missed PAT.
On the ensuing kickoff, DJ McDuff dropped the ball near the goal line and the Roughriders recovered inside the 10. Rusk, however, held Center and the ‘Riders missed a field goal to prevent any damage.
Rusk took over from the 20 after the missed field goal, but on its third play Kody Stanley threw an interception. A face-mask penalty on the return gave Center the ball at the 8, and a hook and ladder play ended with Johnny Sudds in the end zone for the touchdown. The PAT was no good and the Roughriders held a 12-3 lead.
The Eagles started from their own 16 after the Center score, but on the first play McDuff made up for his fumble and raced 84 yards for the touchdown. Rivera converted the PAT to make it a two-point game.
The Roughriders, however, answered and moved to the 25 after a 37-yard run by Shaquille Ingram and scored six plays later on a run by KJ Garrett. Center failed on the two-point conversion to hold an 18-10 lead.
Rusk punted on its next possession but Center fumbled on its first snap and the Eagles regained possession at the 8. The Eagles struggled at first but on fourth-and-goal from the 1, scored with nine seconds left in the first half on a run by Zacris Sturns. Rusk attempted to tie the game with a two-point conversion but failed.
Center took over the third quarter and with two touchdowns to start the second half took a 33-16 lead. Sudds returned an interception for a touchdown, and Cloudy scored for the second time in the game.
Rusk put up a score with 1:42 left in the quarter to make it a 10-point game.
The Eagle defense stiffened in the fourth quarter, but so did Center’s. Rusk, however, was able to score with just over four minutes left in the game to cut the Roughriders’ lead to three.
Center returned the kickoff after the touchdown to its own 41 and after picking up a first down was able to run out the clock on the Eagles, who had no timeouts.
McDuff led all rushers with 159 yards on only six carries. His teammate, Bennett, ran for 101 yards.
Center was led by Cloudy and Sudds on the ground. Cloudy ran for 41yards and threw for 59 more. Sudds rushed for 57 yards on 10 carries.
Center 33, Rusk 30
At Rusk Eagle Stadium, Rusk
Center 6 12 15 0 — 33
Rusk 3 13 7 7 — 30
RUS—Leoncio Rivera, 33-yard field goal; 7:00.
CEN—Cameron Cloudy, 11-yard rush (Felipe Parra kick fail); 0:00
CEN—Johnny Sudds, 11 yards from Cloudy on hook and latter (Parra kick fail); 8:31
RUS—DJ McDuff, 84-yard run (Rivera kick); 8:09
CEN—KJ Garret, 2-yard run (pass fail); 5:12
RUS—Zacris Sturns, 1 yard run (pass fail); 0:09
CEN—Sudds, 35-yard INT return (Parra kick); 7:39
CEN—Cloudy, 11-yard yard run (run good); 4:41
RUS—Chaston Bennett, 45-yard run (Rivera kick); 1:42
RUS—David Overstreet, 2-yard run (Rivera kick); 4:06
First Downs 14 13
Rushes-Yards 40-207 46-345
Passing Yards 59 15
Comp.-Att.-Int. 6-15-1 2-4-2
Punts-Avg. 0-0 4-8.75
Fumbles-Lost 4-2 3-2
Penalties-Yards 6-46 9-83
RUSHING—Center, Shaquille Ingram 4-59, Johnny Sudds 10-57, Cameron Cloudy 11-41, KJ Garrett 14-41, Miquel Johnson III 1-9. Rusk, DJ McDuff 6-159, Chaston Bennett 8-101, Kody Stanley10-37, David Overstreet 7-35, Keshannon Dearman 4-15, Zacris Sturns 11-(-2).
PASSING—Center, Cameron Cloudy 6-14-1-1—33, Cody Carleton 0-1-0—0—0. Rusk, Zacris Sturns 2-5-0-1--15, Kody Stanley 0-4-0-1—0.
RECEIVING—Center, Johnny Sudds 3-33, Tony McCollister 2-20. Rusk, Kadarius Neal 2-15.