BROOKSVILLE - Due to a rainout on Friday night, the Central Bears hosted a rare Saturday morning matchup against The Villages Buffalo.
The Bears, who were without several key players for various reasons, suffered a close, disappointing loss, 13-12.
"We've now dropped two close games we should have been able to win," said Central head coach Mike Einspahr, referring to the Bears' season-opening 32-23 loss to Hudson the previous week.
The Central (0-2) defense played well and put up the first points in the game with a 70-yard interception return from Mike Rossetti in the second quarter.
The first half concluded with a big sack of Buffalo (1-1) quarterback Ben Mangum from Central's Robbie Bradley.
Bradley, who ran for over 200 yards last week against Hudson, continued his offensive success with 11 carries for 183 yards. Bradley ran for a 65-yard touchdown to put Central up 12-0 starting the second half.
The Bears' offense, without senior quarterback Cole Teater, wasn't able to put together any solid drives, only running 31 plays in comparison to The Villages' 67.
"We have to have more plays in order to produce," said Einspahr.
It was The Villages consistent possession of the ball that wore out the Central defense. The Villages was able to score two unanswered touchdowns, both run by senior Tony Bryant from one and five yards out, to go up 13-12.
Central's offense struggled even more when Bradley missed several crucial plays due to cramping.
In the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, Central quarterback Sebastian Rivera completed a pass to Taylor Bower, who fumbled after the catch giving possession back to the Buffaloes. They then proceeded to run the clock out.
The Villages 13, Central 12
CEN - Rossetti 70 interception return (Bradley kick blocked)
CEN - Bradley 65 run (Bradley kick no good)
VIL - Bryant 1 run (Wilson kick)
VIL - Bryant 5 run (Wilson kick blocked)
Atts./Rushing Yds. 55-206 25-215
Comps./Pass/Atts/Int. 7-12-1 4-6-0
Total Offense 67-323 31-240