The Augusta Orioles season came to an end Friday night as Andover Central came out on top in a defensive battle at Andover District Stadium on Friday night. The Jaguars 16-7 victory over Augusta marks the second straight year the Jaguars have ended the Orioles season at Andover District Stadium.

Scoring was scarce in the first half, as the teams combined for just three first-half points. On the opening drive, Central drove the ball 61 yards and capped off the 15-play drive with a 19-yard field goal by Blake Robinson to put Central up 3-0. Both offenses took turns going three-and-out for the remainder of the first quarter, until Augusta finally picked up their first first down of the game on a 28-yard pass from Jayden Wilson to Justin Clausing with less than a minute to go in the quarter. Both teams combined for three muffed punts in the first quarter, two by Central and one by Augusta, but the receiving team was able to recover the ball each time.

In the second quarter, both offenses continued to struggle to move the ball. Augusta finished the first half with just two first downs, while Augusta had four.

The second half was more of the same as both offenses combined for four straight three-and-out drives to open the third quarter. Finally, with 2:34 remaining in the third quarter, Central scored the first touchdown of the game. Central junior quarterback Shomari Parnell connected with a wide-open Matt Macy for a 41-yard touchdown pass to put Central up 10-0.

On the next drive, Central’s Sam Thomas intercepted a pass and returned the ball to the Augusta 10 yard line. The Jaguars added another field goal by Blake Robinson, this time from 30 yards, to give Central a 13-0 lead. On Augusta’s next two drives, the Jaguars came up with interceptions by Trey Degarmo and Karen Parrott, but were unable to come away with points.

After a Central drive stalled deep in their own territory, the Jaguars were forced to punt. A low snap forced the Central punter to reach down and pick up the ball, but while the punter was trying to regain possession his knee touched the ground, giving Augusta the ball inside the Central five yard line. Three plays later, sophomore running back Ryan Andrews scored on a one-yard touchdown run to give the Orioles their first points of the night and make it a one-possession game with 4:23 remaining.

The Orioles desperately needed a stop, but Central was able to make a few big plays and keep the clock rolling. With just under two minutes remaining, Blake Robinson nailed another field goal to make it a two-possession game and put the Jaguars up 16-7. Central forced a turnover on downs and was able to escape with a 16-7 victory.

Andover Central finished with just six rushing yards on 34 carries and 132 yards through the air. Augusta finished with 27 yards on 32 carries and 137 passing yards. The Orioles finished with more first downs, rushing yards, passing yards, and won the time of possession battle, but the three interceptions by the Jaguar defense were game-changing.

Ty Herrmann finished with a game-high 44 rushing yards for the Jaguars. Augusta’s Ryan Andrews finished with 36. Central quarterback Shomari Parnell completed 11 passes for 132 yards, while Augusta’s Jayden Wilson completed nine passes for 137 yards. Armani Dennis finished with a game-high 57 yards on two receptions. Central’s Matt Macy finished with 56 yards on two catches.

Central improves to 5-4 and will advance to take on Goddard High School (7-2) next Friday night in Goddard. The first matchup between the two teams took place on Sept. 14. The Jaguars will be out for revenge as Goddard came out on top in overtime by a score of 17-16.

The Orioles finish the season with a record of 3-6.

“We have a lot of kids that grew up this year,” said Augusta head coach Jason Filbeck.

“We started 1-5... we could have quit, but we had a lot of kids that found a way to be resilient and stay tough.”

After the game, Filbeck credited his defense for keeping it close.

“Our defense played great all night, but unfortunately we just didn’t have enough on offense. Ceetyn Anderson did an unbelievable job covering [Xavier Bell]. He’s one of the best receivers in 4A, and Ceetyn held him in check all night. That was the task we gave him as a senior captain— you’re going to have to play big, and he did.”