There was a big crowd, some big plays and a big win for the Central Cyclones on Friday night in Yorkton as they knocked off the Raiders 24-20 in their homecoming game.
The game was a matchup between the Moose Jaw High School Football League’s two undefeated teams and lived up to its big billing with the game coming down to the final play. Defensive back Royce Hanna knocked down a pass to the end zone as time expired to the give the Cyclones the win in front of a huge crowd at Yorkton’s Kinsmen Century Field.
“Our boys played with a lot of heart, a lot of emotion and we were able to get four quarters of football, so regardless of we came out with the win or the loss, I was very pleased with the way my boys played,” said Central head coach Colin Belsher.
With the big crowd on hand for the game, Central taking up a fan bus and the league’s only two undefeated teams going head-to-head, Belsher says the atmosphere was incredible, “They had the lights going, they had fans cheering, they had a halftime show, it’s going to be an experience for these guys that they will remember for a long time.”
The two teams battled to a 7-7 tie at halftime with quarterback Bren Forbes rushing for Central’s opening touchdown.
The Cyclones really pulled ahead in the second half when Forbes hit receiver Jonathan Phillips for a 40+ yard touchdown strike in the fourth quarter, that would put Central up 22-7.
Yorkton was able to drive for for a pair of scores to pull within two points at 22-20. Central’s next drive stalled and Phillips blasted a punt that led to the Raiders conceding a safety that gave the Cyclones the 24-20 win.
“Bren Forbes played really well; our defensive and offensive line played really, really good; Dylan Pisio was his usual self, he was all over the place; Tanner Hardy played really well; we got some productivity out of our young running back out Zach Lethbridge; and Jonathan Phillips really had a coming out party too,” explained Belsher.
The win moves Central into sole possession of first and improves them at 4-0 on the year. Yorkton drops down into a tie for second with the Peacock Tornadoes at 3-1. Peacock beat Swift Current 41-26 at Gutheridge Field on Friday afternoon.
Saturday’s action has the 1-3 Vanier Vikings heading to Estevan to take on the 0-4 Elecs.