In a season filled with growing pains and injuries, the Central football team was faced with another challenge this week, Thursday night football.
Due to the threat of potential thunderstorms this weekend, Central’s (0-5) football game against Liberty North (5-0) was moved up a day early. Central head coach Regi Trotter used the sudden change as another opportunity for his team to face adversity.
“Our whole season so far has been about adapting and overcoming,” Trotter said. “We’ve had so many injuries that we’ve had to overcome and adapt to. We’ve moved guys around because we are not as deep as we’d like to be. So, this was just another opportunity for us to adapt.”
The news about moving the game up broke Thursday morning, so players and coaches had little time to prepare for the sudden change. Senior running back Austin White spoke about what the turnaround was like for the team.
“We had to get mentally prepared,” White said. “We started today thinking we were going to have a walk-through practice and then, bam, they hit us with a game today. So, we all had to focus in, focus on the game and come out here and play together.”
Once the game started, the undefeated Liberty North Eagles proved to be too much for the Indians. After the Indians stalled on their opening drive, the Eagles would score on their second play from scrimmage, a 68-yard touchdown run by Zac Willingham-Davis.
It would not stop there as the Eagles continued to pour it on and by halftime, held a 35-0 lead.
The Indians showed flashes in the first half on both sides of the ball, but they were unable to consistently move the ball on offense and gave up big plays on defense. Trotter believes these are things they can fix and continue to improve on.
“Early on I thought we played very well,” Trotter said. “We did some good things defensively, but when you give up big plays on things you shouldn’t give up because a guys eyes are in the wrong place, it hurts. It’s something we are working on, we are working on discipline eyes and becoming better football players.”
The Indians would get on the board in the final minutes of the game, a 5-yard run by White, to prevent the shutout. Central would go on to lose 42-7.
While the margin was wide, the Indians continued to show effort, which they showed with their late score. Playing to the end is something White said the team prides themselves on.
“We don’t have any quit in us,” White said. “We play for each other and don’t ever want to give up. Quitting is not in our vocabulary.”
Trotter was also encouraged by the effort his team shows every day. He believes it’s part of the process in building a stronger program.
“I have not complained on bit about how hard they’re playing. There are some other things I can complain about, but that’s not one of them,” Trotter said. “Those guys are really fighting every day. This is a build. When you’re starting from scratch and you’re trying to build something, sometimes it takes a little longer than you’d like it to, but we are building something positive.”
Central heads to Lee’s Summit (2-2) next Friday.