Centralia defeated Hallsville in the district football. The Panthers failed to do so in each of the past two seasons but won 24-18 in overtime against their rival on Friday night at Miller Field in Centralia to open the Class 3 District 4 tournament.
Hallsville (4-6) took an 18-6 lead after scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but two touchdown runs by Jesse Caballero, who finished with 111 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, tied the game to send the contest into regulation. Quarterback Cullen Bennett, who threw for 163 yards on 16-for-24 passing, ran nine yards on a scramble to score the game-winning touchdown in the overtime period. Rex Bryson led the defense with 12 tackles, Emery Mast had nine tackles and two tackles for loss and Ian Tuggle had six tackles, two sacks and two tackles for loss.
Centralia (9-1), who is the No. 3 seed, plays at No. 2 seed Moberly (8-2) at 7 p.m. Friday in a state-ranked semifinal game. The Panthers are ranked fifth in Class 3 while the Spartans are ninth.
Look for the full story in the Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, edition of the Mexico Ledger.