Center Roughriders prepare for anticipated match against reignin - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Center Roughriders prepare for anticipated match against reigning state champions, Gilmer

CENTER, TX (KTRE) -

The Center Roughriders find themselves in the regional round for the first time since 2004.

Up next for Center is Gilmer, a school with lots of experience making deep runs in the playoffs and they just so happen to be the reigning state champs.        

With the momentum the Roughriders have gained throughout the year, they feel there's no stopping them now.

“We’re playing the defending state champions, a quality opponent with a great coaching staff,” said Center head coach Barry Bowman. “It will take all we got to play with these guys but we're looking forward to the challenge.”

“We've been hearing we’re good, we believe we're good and this will show us how good we really are,” said running back DaCorey McGee.

It's a big challenge but one that Center matches up pretty well with.

Unlike the Roughriders, the Buckeyes are undefeated on the year. While Center respects what Gilmer has done, they're also confident they could serve the Buckeyes their first loss of the season and end their 28-game winning streak.

“We just got that feeling that we can do it. When you have that feeling plus everyone on the team cares, when we go out and just play, good things will happen,” said Center receiver Octavious Evans.

If you're one to play the numbers game take note of this.

Both Center and Gilmer have played Tatum and Pleasant Grove this year, and the Roughriders should feel good knowing they've come out with better results than Gilmer in both of those games.

Center beat Tatum 42-7 compared to Gilmer’s win at 23-0. Center beat Pleasant Grove 57-35 to Gilmer’s 40-36.

“We don't want to have the big head about it. We want to come out and play hard, fight, do what our coaches told us. We want to win,” said McGee.

Gilmer will stick to their ground and pound offensive mentality, while Center will serve a little of both running and throwing. The key to winning will be simple.

“I believe it's going to be a physical game. A very physical game. They’re going to make plays and we're going to make plays. We just got to see who makes the most,” said Center quarterback Kyle Parks.

“Whatever team has the most heart, that’s who’s going to come out with a win,” said McGee.

These power houses will be dueling at Tyler Rose Stadium Friday night starting at 7:30.

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