C-2 No. 10 Shelby-Rising City football started the season 6-0, but two failed two-point conversions and a missed PAT led to the first loss as C-2 No. 8 Centennial won 21-18 on Friday at S-RC.
Each team was scoreless after the first quarter, but a pick-six then another interception in the second quarter led to Centennial taking a 21-6 lead going into the locker room.
SR-C scored the only points of the second half but missed a field goal and couldn't get the ball back after scoring with under five minutes remaining.
"The biggest thing was the turnovers," Shelby-Rising City head coach Kevin Kopecky said after the game. "I feel like we just gave them a bunch of points, and it was a really sloppy first half. I don't think we handled the big-game atmosphere very well. Hopefully, that's something we can learn from because this won't be the last big game we'll be in."
Turnovers were a theme for both sides. Centennial advanced its first possession to the S-RC 4 before giving it away on a fumble.
The Huskies took that change in momentum and drove to the Bronco 20 before an interception went back 80 yards the other direction for a 7-0 Centennial lead.
Shelby-Rising City answered on the next drive after going 61 yards in 10 plays when Bailey Belt found Jett Pinneo for a 12-yard touchdown.
The two-point conversion was no good, closing the gap to 7-6.
Centennial answered with a scoring drive of its own, going 79 yards in seven plays and ending on a 1-yard run. The visitors then extended the lead just before the half, intercepting another S-RC pass and returning it to the Husky 13. The Broncos were in the end zone a play later on a 13-yard run from Davon Brees.
"They have a good offense," Kopecky said. "(Davon Brees) is a very dangerous running back, and they also have two very good receivers and a good quarterback. You really can't just focus on him. He carried the load tonight. We did a decent job, but not good enough, obviously."
S-RC had the chance to cut into the lead right before half after a botched Centennial punt but Pinneo was tackled at the 2 as time ran out.
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A Husky drive to start the third quarter seemed promising until a field goal attempt missed with 3:30 left. S-RC finally fond the scoreboard again following a Centennial fumble when Belt hit Pinneo on a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Another missed two-point conversion closed the gap to 21-12.
The S-RC defense forced another stop, the Huskies drove 80 yards in nine plays and cut the deficit to 21-18 with 3:45 left when Belt and Pinneo connected again from 21 yards out. The PAT missed.
S-RC had no timeouts remaining and opted to attempt an onside, but Centennial recovered and ran out the remaining time.
"We have a lot of heart," Kopecky said. "Our kids played hard. There was never any quit or any give up. That's going to serve us well down the road. This hurts right now, obviously. We were undefeated at the time. It hurts worse than if we had already lost a game or two. Our goal was never to go undefeated, to be quite honest. Our goals are still all within reach."
Belt finished the night completing 25 of 34 for 228 yards and three touchdowns while throwing two interceptions.
Grand Lindsley led the Huskies on the ground rushing for 44 yards on 13 carries.
Antonio Lopez led the team in tackles with eight.
No. 10 Shelby-Rising City will travel to No. 9 North Bend Central (6-1) on Saturday.
After No. 9 North Bend Central upset No. 7 Aquinas (5-2) on Friday night No. 10 Shelby-Rising City, No. 8 Centennial, No. 9 North Bend Central and No. 7 Aquinas are all tied for the lead in C2 District 4.
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net