CENTERVILLE — From the opening kick, there was little doubt at Paul Johnson Field.

The Centerville Big Reds, celebrating homecoming and the last guaranteed home game for the seniors, defeated the Clarke Indians 48-6 Friday.

Things just went right for the Centerville Big Reds to open the game, their kick to Clarke bouncing upon the 30-yard line. Centerville's Nic Pfannebecker landed on it, giving the Big Reds an unexpected opening possession.

On the second play, quarterback Kellen Johnson faked a handoff and went right, dodging two Clarke Indians for a 24-yard touchdown run.

The score, just 48 seconds into the game, gave Centerville a 6-0 lead after the point-after kick failed.

Johnson started in the quarterback position Friday, in place of the injured Sawyer Wardlow who was out with an apparent wrist injury.

Centerville went up another score with 15 seconds left in the first quarter. Johnson threw a 25-yard bullet to Kade Mosley for a touchdown. A two-point run by Bradley Watts made the score 14-0.

The Big Reds scored twice more in the second quarter. First with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Merrick Mathews, to go up 21-0 and capping off a 12-play, 76-yard drive.

With 20 seconds remaining before the half, Johnson found Mathews again with an 18-yard touchdown pass to go up 28-0.

In the second half, special teams came up big for Centerville, again. This time, Mosley received the opening half kick off from Clarke and returned it 58 yards.

While a Centerville penalty for a second sideline violation nixed 15 yards off the return, the Big Reds would ultimately score with Johnson's third touchdown pass to Mathews. It was a 13-yard throw to cap a six-play drive and put Centerville ahead 34-0 with 9:23 left in the third quarter.

Watts would get the clock running with a five-yard run, putting the Big Reds up 41-0 with 9:30 to go in the game.

With Centerville making some lineup changes, Sam Hash took over as quarterback and wasted little time putting his mark on the game. He would run it in from 33 yards out to put Centerville ahead 48-0.

The Clarke Indians would score late to break up the shutout, with a 65-yard touchdown reception hauled in by Josue Torres, making the score 48-6 after Centerville blocked the point-after kick.

Centerville (3-3) is eyeing a potential second-place finish, first home game, and a winning regular season when they travel to Chariton next week for the regular-season finale.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the first vice president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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