At times Saturday afternoon, it seemed like nothing else could possibly go wrong for the Central High Bears. But then, unfailingly, something else did.
The Bears gave away a victory to the Clermont Highlanders 21-7 at Highlanders Field. Central lost despite outrushing the Highlanders 153 yards to 34 yards, and allowing Clermont only four first downs.
The key to the loss was Central's seven turnovers. The Bears fumbled the ball six times, recovering it only twice. Two fumbles came on potential scoring drives _ Central lost the ball on a first-and-10 at the Clermont 33-yard line, and later, on first down, at the Clermont 43.
Clermont's Tony Temples didn't appear on the roster but definitely made his mark with touchdown receptions of 57 and 58 yards from quarterback Chris Griffin. Clermont's Dwight Wright rushed 19 yards for the Highlanders' third touchdown.
Central's only touchdown came with 15 seconds to play as Alex Degracia hit Terry Justice for a 10-yard score.
Central squandered scoring opportunities in the second half when four-straight drives ended in turnovers. Degracia was picked off by Clermont's Blaine Thompson on first down at the Highlander 44. Central's next drive ended in a fumble.
Their next drive died when Degracia pitched to Fred Scrivens, whose pass was intercepted by Chris Jackson. And their final miscue was an intercepted pass from Caleb Lane off a Degracia pitch, again pulled down by Jackson.
Central's Kevin Kanaar gained 104 yards on 20 carries.
But quarterbacks Degracia and Tyrone Goodson only completed 7 of 21 passes. Goodson was 3 for 4, but Degracia was only 4 for 16 with one interception.