CENTERVILLE — The Centerville Big Reds tallied their first win on a sloppy, foggy Friday night against the Saydel Eagles.

It was Saydel with the first strike. They scored with a 34-yard pass in the first 30 seconds of the contest, flying to an 8-0 lead early. Centerville shut them out from there, en route to a 29-8 triumph.

With periodic showers and a settling fog, the teams traded turnovers and punts before the Big Reds got on the board to open the second quarter. The Eagles had possession of the ball on their own 27-yard line, but several penalties and a punt to Centerville gave the Big Reds the ball and good field position.

Centerville’s Sawyer Wardlow would connect with a 57-yard pass to Kade Mosely for a touchdown. A two-point conversion by Gage Hatfield tied the game at 8-8 with 10 minutes left in the half.

A Saydel punt gave Centerville possession again. This time, a 53-yard touchdown spiral from Wardlow found Griffin Weber for a touchdown.

To close first-half scoring, Wardlow found Mason Bauman with a 9-yard touchdown pass for a touchdown, sending the Big Reds ahead 21-8.

A host of Big Reds sacked the Saydel quarterback in the end zone with 11:42 left in regulation, adding two more points to the Big Reds’ score with a safety.

Saydel, faced with a kick off to Centerville after the safety, decided to attempt an onside kick, which was recovered by Centerville. That set up one more scoring driving for the Big Reds. That drive would be capped when Wardlow threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game to Weber, a 2-yard throw, making the score 29-8.

After being mired with turnovers in weeks one and two, Centerville held on to the ball Friday even with the adverse weather, throwing no interceptions and surrendering just one fumble. Centerville had given up 11 turnovers through their first two weeks.

While the Big Reds have just one win through their first three contests, they’ve fared well in the second half of each game by pitching shutouts in the third and fourth quarters against all three of their opponents.

Centerville (1-2) will turn their attention to the Albia Blue Demons (1-2) next week in the annual Battle of Highway 5. Albia blanked Clarke 22-0 Friday.

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 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.

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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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