Central hope to build on momentum from spectacular Friday victory | Sports
A rivalry was dramatically renewed on Friday night, as Central faced Lafayette on the soccer field for the first time since 2017.
With the Indians holding a seven-point overtime lead, Lafayette lined up for the fourth and goal from the 2-yard line with the game on.
As the Indian defense lined up, middle junior Anthony Vassar said he knew he and his teammates knew they had what it took to find the stoppage.
“Just stay calm,” Vassar said. “Just make sure you are prepared and know what your body is capable of doing. “
Senior center Will Padgett tripped Lafayette quarterback Jaron Saunders, and Vassar pushed him to the ground as Central took the win.
It was their first win of the season and their first win against Lafayette since 1999.
“It’s a rivalry game, so it always makes it more important, more special,” said Vassar, “but it was extremely good, especially since it was the first win of the season.”
As the Indians claimed their first victory of the season, they said they hoped to keep the momentum going until the end of the year.
The fourth stop at the goal line wouldn’t even have been possible without Central’s resistance late in the second half.
At the end of the third quarter, Lafayette was leading by 21 points. Despite the deficit, Central freshman Gabe Fields said he and his teammates knew they had a chance to come back.
“Everyone on the sidelines is saying together, ‘We just stay together and have good head and mind space,’” said Fields. “Just stay together as a team because we know we can still win. “
And the Indians did it on the legs of the freshman. Fields scored the tying touchdown late in regulation, sending the game into overtime, and the go-ahead touchdown in overtime.
Center head coach Regi Trotter said despite his youth, Fields was hot and needed to keep putting the ball in his hands.
“We had three full-backs playing on Friday night, with Clarence Jackson for the start, Makario Barr for the first touchdown of the day, and then Gabe was hot,” Trotter said. “He ran really well and we definitely continued to feed the hot hand. “
The two late scores brought the score to four in the game for Fields, and he said it was great to gain his manager’s confidence, but he gave his teammates credit.
“It’s a great feeling, it really is, but it wouldn’t be possible without our line,” said Fields. “They really did arrive that night.”
Trotter said they were finally showing what they had inside from the start.
“For these guys to be really able to strike back and recover all the way and score 28 unanswered points to get the win, it shows our guys that we have some fighting inside of us,” Trotter said. “I hope this will come a long way to go.”
As the Indians deepen in the conference game, Vassar said they hope to stay the course throughout the season.
“Just keep that energy to practice,” Vassar said. “Pre-game training, we had a lot of energy, we were doing it right, and we will continue to do it for the rest of the season.”