Opening the season against a powerhouse can put a team in position to take one on the chin.
The Central football team found itself in that position Friday night and took the brunt of it.
The Bearcats (0-1) dropped their opening game 33-0 to perennially strong Pendleton Heights. The Arabians led by 13 after the first quarter, 19 at halftime and 26 after the third.
Central started the game well with a 15-play drive that carried it inside the Pendleton Heights 5-yard line. But the Bearcats fumbled the ball away to end the threat.
“We had four turnovers total, and we only forced two, gave up a punt return for a touchdown,” Bearcats coach Brad Seiss said. “We just made too many mistakes.”
Seiss said he was impressed by the running of tailback Jaylen White, who is expected to carry some of the load left by departed runner Tim Barrett, a 1,300-yard rusher in 2012. The Bearcat offensive line held up in the running game Friday and didn’t allow a sack.
Central is coming off a 3-7 record in its first season under Seiss. Pendleton Heights went 8-3 in 2012, which included a 42-13 win against the Bearcats.
Seiss said the Arabians (1-0) gave up more yards than usual Friday, but they needed stops they got them.
“We just couldn’t sustain drives,” Seiss said. “We moved it, and we’d just stall out with either a turnover or a couple bad plays.”
The Bearcats have not won an opener since 2009 when they topped Indianapolis Northwest.
“The game was closer than the score,” Seiss said. “Yardage-wise it was somewhat close.”