INDEPENDENCE — It was an almost perfect start for Central’s football team Thursday night against Lebanon.
The Panthers recovered a Warriors fumble on the game’s first offensive play, and Central running back Hunter Chase scored a 36-yard touchdown on the Panthers’ first play from scrimmage to take an early 7-0 lead.
That lead wouldn’t last, as Lebanon defeated the Panthers 40-27.
For much of the first half, it appeared the Panthers were in control.
A pair of touchdown passes from Peter Mendazona to Isaiah Abraham put Central up 20-8 with 8:40 left in the first half, but the Warriors were ready to rally.
Lebanon scored twice to take a 21-20 lead into halftime. The Warriors added two more touchdowns to extend their lead to 33-20 early in the fourth quarter.
Mendazona threw a 29-yard touchdown to Marcos Cedillo to pull within 33-27 with 8:49 left in the game, but it was as close as the Panthers would get.
Lebanon scored its final touchdown to go ahead 40-27 with 1:11 left in the game.
Central (3-4 overall, 1-3 Mid-Willamette Conference) plays at Silverton next Friday at 7 p.m.
VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO DALLAS: Central’s volleyball team lost to Dallas 25-22, 25-18, 26-24 on Oct. 11.
The Panthers (9-8 overall, 5-7 MWC) played Corvallis Tuesday after press time. Central hosts Woodburn Thursday at 6 p.m. to close out the regular season. The Panthers entered the week in sixth place in the MWC standings.
GIRLS SOCCER LOSES TO LEBANON: Central’s girls soccer team lost to Lebanon 7-1 on Oct. 11. The Panthers played Dallas Tuesday after press time. Central plays at Corvallis Thursday at 6:30 p.m. before closing out the regular season by hosting Woodburn Tuesday at 6 p.m.
CROSS-COUNTRY TAKES SECOND AT CV: Central’s boys and girls cross-country teams placed second at a Mid-Willamette Conference 4-way race at Crescent Valley High School on Oct. 11.
Jonathon Brown led the boys with a fourth-place finish in 16 minutes, 53.76 seconds. Rufus Schrader placed eighth in 17:18.42.
Bailie Hartford paced the girls with an eighth-place finish. Hartford finished with a time of 20:08.51. Naomi Vega took 11th in 20:39.29.
Central will compete at Dallas Wednesday (today) at 4 p.m.