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Central Football ends disappointing year

December 19, 2019

The Central football team recently finished their 2019 season, finishing with a 4-5 record that left them just short of reaching the state playoffs. The 4-5 mark makes it the first time the Eagles eclipsed 3 wins since 2015, and is an improvement from last season’s 3-6 campaign. Head coach Jay Landstrom said, “We didn’t improve as much as I like. Our goal was make it to the playoffs and we came up just short.”

The Eagles did come agonizingly close, finishing less than 1.5 wildcard points out of the last playoff spot. They certainly had their opportunities though. Central led Creighton Prep going into the fourth quarter and lost 24-20. They also lost at Norfolk by a single point in Overtime after going for two in the extra session and failing. Landstrom said, “(those games) were definitely the kind of the two missed opportunities we needed to along with Pius to as a game, we really felt like we needed to win and we came up just short, all three of those. So, we’re still learning to win, and we can’t hang our heads.”

Central lost at home to Pius 24-9. Of the Creighton Prep loss, the 2nd year head coach said, “Everybody loves to beat Prep, and we had that opportunity leading going in the fourth quarter.” He said the Norfolk contest was, “a back and forth game, and we came up one yard short.”

The failure to reach the state playoffs was unfortunate for the seniors. Landstrom said the, “seniors worked really hard.” They also led the team on offense, especially in the backfield. Senior quarterback Abraham Hoskins III, finished the year with 781 passing yards to go along with 369 rushing yards. He averaged 86.8 yards a game through the air, leading the team, and 41 yards a game on the ground. The team’s leader in rushing was DeAnthony Bridgeford-Jackett, who ended up with 705 yards for the season, avergaing 5.6 yards per carry. Landstrom said, “They meant a ton, especially on the offensive side of the ball. They were go to guys on offense and sparked us.”

Going into the offseason, the head coach knows there are some things to work on. He said, “We had some good, good seniors. We have some big holes to fill, especially on offense.” He mentioned, “We desperately need to find some playmakers. I’m excited for an offensive line, we basically have five starters going back on the offensive line, which is a great way to start with. But, we need to have some playmakers.” On defense, Landstrom said, “Defensively, we have quite a few starters coming back. that’s going be our starting point next year. That should be our strength.” The head coach said the close losses this season can “motivate us in the offseason to get better, we’ve got to be committed. And, you know, I thought we did that last offseason, but now we have to have another off season and be that much better.”

The trajectory of the program certainly looks good. The Eagles have gone from 0-9 to 4-5 in less than two years. Landstrom said, “I think we’re trending in the right direction. We’ve improved two years in a row. We’ve got to take that next step. It’s all about going to the playoffs.”

Of the entire season, Landstrom said, “I felt like we were a playoff caliber team. Unfortunately, we didn’t get it done, but it definitely wasn’t for lack of effort.”

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