OLYMPIA FIELDS – Plainfield Central led 7-6 at halftime, allowed two quick touchdowns to open the second half and battled back to get within 28-27 early in the fourth quarter before falling to nonconference foe Rich Central, 40-27, on Friday night.
Rich Central (2-0) was held scoreless until Jayran Mitchell’s 4-yard touchdown run with 47 seconds left in the first half.
Plainfield Central (0-2) received the second-half kickoff, but nobody picked up the loose ball and the Olympians recovered. They scored three plays later. The Wildcats fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, and Rich Central scored one play later to lead 20-7.
“Too many mistakes by special teams put us behind,” Plainfield Central coach John Jackson said. “The whole team could have gotten down at the start of the second half. But you have to be proud of the way the kids did not give up and fought. We played with a very good, quick team. This is a positive going into our [Southwest Prairie] conference schedule.”
Jackson said that quick opponents can be dangerous for his squad.
“We are not built for speed and we cannot get into shootouts with teams,” he said. “We need to play solid defense, run hard and throw the ball when needed.”
Wildcats quarterback Marcus Hayes rushed for 169 yards on 17 carries, scored three touchdowns and completed 4 of 10 passes for 64 yards and a score. But it was not quite enough.
Hayes’ third touchdown early in the fourth quarter brought the Wildcats back within 28-27. But the defense, which had played well in the first half, was unable to prevent the Olympians from tacking on points as Franklin Hunt ran 63 yards for a score and Deshawn Jones, who finished with 118 yards in 19 carries, scored the clincher.
Hayes scored on runs of 85, 20 and 4 yards and threw a 35-yard TD pass to Nate Graves. He also hit Graves for a 20-yard completion on the play preceding his 20-yard touchdown run.
Plainfield Central won the sophomore game, 20-6, as Tom Gustafson and Joshua Makenzie combined to rush for 168 yards.