Centralia seek to beat Mexico for the first time since 2011

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Centralia will look to correct past history when they face Mexico Friday.

The Panthers come into the game undefeated at 5-0 while Mexico has had a rocky start to its season to be at 2-3. Centralia won’t be taking Mexico lightly though, as a similar situation two years ago backfired for the Panthers.

In 2017, Centralia (5-0) lost to Mexico (3-2) and then went on a three-game slide to end the regular season 5-4. While Centralia has not beaten Mexico since 2011, the seniors on this Panthers team feel more confident this year.

Both teams run similar styles of offense, with the Panthers running a “wing-T” spread offense, while the Bulldogs run a flex-bone offense. The Panthers offense wasn’t scoring points in bunches earlier in the season, but in the last two games they’ve averaged 42.5 points. Centralia coach James Newsted said that a big reason for the major uptick in scoring is because they started throwing the ball more.

Centralia may get more opportunities to score as Mexico’s defense has been porous at times. The Bulldogs have surrendered 20 or more points three times already this season, all resulting in losses. One of the biggest battles in the game will be as to how Mexico’s offense performs against a strong Centralia defense that hasn’t given up more than 12 points through the first five weeks. It should be an interesting sight as the Bulldogs notched up 62 points against Clinton last week.

Panthers coach Newsted attributes most of their defensive success to Centralia’stheir speed and toughness. The game is expected to get very physical, as games between Centralia and Mexico usually are.

Kick off is set at 7 p.m. Friday at Centralia.

Supervising editor is Rajdeep Barman.

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