After falling to Smithville last year 41-13 in a season opener, Central had some big shoes to fill Friday, beginning its campaign yet again against the Warriors.
Ranked 10th in Class 4, the Warriors traveled to St. Joseph with the same dominating performance in their 2018 campaign.
The Warriors made it on the scoreboard first with a quarterback keeper from senior Spencer Miller in the first quarter, and they remained hard to top throughout the rest of the game.
Smithville scored three touchdowns in the first quarter alone, ending the game with a final score of 40-0.
“We played a very good football team and we didn’t meet the challenge. Anytime you lose 40-0, you can’t say you’re a better football team than that because it didn’t show today. But I know we are a better football team than we were out here today,” Central head coach Regi Trotter said after the loss.
The Indians’ defensive unit stopped a Warriors’ two-point conversion after Miller’s first keeper touchdown in the middle of the first quarter.
Despite the stop, Smithville took off afterward, scoring 27 points by the end of the first half. Trotter added the defensive unit needs to improve on stopping the ball for the rest of the season.
“We got to tackle better. That was the story of the game because when we were able to make tackles we were able to get some stops and make some plays, but then when they broke tackles, obviously when you can’t make tackles, it makes it really tough to stop people,” Trotter said.
The score was not the only factor that plagued the team. The Indians were forced to shuffle around some players because of injuries across the board.
“The guys stepped up because we had some injuries. Angylo Reed stepped up when we had guys go down. Adam Johnston has been nursing a thigh injury, so we really can only play him on one side of the ball. Angylo did a good job of coming in and running hard for us,” Trotter said.
The Indians’ offense also struggled to hold strong with sophomore guard Charlie Arn left out of the offensive line.
Trotter added, “Offensive line wise our depth was gone with Charlie Arn being down, so we had some guys rotate in at guard. They stepped in and did a good job but we need those guys
to play better.”
Central plays its week two contest at Lee’s Summit North next Friday with a kickoff of 7 p.m.
“We need to go back to work. Our practice needs to be much better, and not that they’re ever bad, but we need to turn it up a notch because it’s going to get much harder from here and we got to be ready to go,” Trotter said.