The Extra Point: Game of the Week: Palmyra at Centralia
CENTRALIA - In week seven of mid-Missouri high school football, our Game of the Week is the battle of the panthers. Centralia hosts Palmyra to see which panther team will reign supreme.
No rain is predicted for Friday's games and the temperature should be chilly in the 50's.
Who: Palmyra Panthers at (4-2) at Centralia Panthers (3-3)
When: Friday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m.
Where: 849 S. Jefferson, Centralia, MO 65240
Distance: 67.4 miles, or about a 1 hour and 15 minute drive.
Significance: Centralia is .500 on the season, but not from lack of scoring or defense. They are not good on the road and are on a three game losing streak, but two of those games have been away. Palmyra is the same way, but they take on Centralia on the road. Palmyra is a young team with a bunch of talent and pep, so Friday will be interesting to see if they can keep this season going.
Class 2, District 6
Class 3, District 6
Centralia Panthers (3-3): If there is one thing this Panther team has showed us, it is that they cannot play on the road but destroy teams at home. If Centralia wants a shot to make it far in the post-season, they need to start applying what they do at home to road games. This team can score, just over 33 points per game, and their defense is good too, a little more than one interception per game. This team is not bad, but they need to halt their three-game losing streak this week if they want to have life moving forward.
Player to Watch: Ethan Leighton, senior RB/LB. He is the workhorse of this Panther team. He has 788 all-purpose yards, 732 of those out of the back field. He is averaging 8 yards per carry and has a team high 14 touchdowns. He has slowed production in the last few games, which is one reason why they have lost. He needs to regain his form from the beginning of the season if he wants his team to win.
Palmyra Panthers (4-2): This is a young team. They have only one returning offensive starter and just three on defense. Last season they won 12 games, which was amazing, but they lost their QB and their backfield. Despite that, this young team has showed a lot of fight starting off 4-2. If they win this big match-up late in the season they will be a respectable force heading into the last few regular-season games and into the post-season.
Player to Watch: Mason Franklin, senior WR. As one of the Panthers' only returning players (and the only returning offensive player) he needs to be a leader on the field and a vocal leader on the bench. He needs to have a huge game if they want to upset Centralia on the road. Extending drives is going to be huge to give their defense a rest against a potent Centralia offense.
Prediction: Centralia snaps the losing streak and wins big against Palmyra this week. Leighton will return to early season form against this young and inexperienced defense and Centralia will look forward to the post-season after Friday.
Palmyra - 14
Centralia - 48
Tweet me what you think about my prediction at @JMZupon, and remember to tweet your game photos to @komunews or @komusports, or email us at Photos@komu.com. Instagram works too, @komunews.
Be sure to watch Friday Night Fever at 10 p.m. on Friday night to see how your favorite team fared in week seven.
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