Vaught returns fumble 80 yards to spark Centerpoint to upset win over Rison

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Centerpoint takes the field at Diamond Bank Stadium during a regular season game last month.

 

RISON, Ark. – Louis Lozano and Nathan Vaught may have saved Centerpoint’s football season Friday night.

The game was tied 14-14 in the final second of the second quarter, and Rison had the ball at the Knights’ 12. Lozano blitzed and forced a fumble, and Vaught picked it up and sprinted 80 yards for a touchdown. Centerpoint (7-3) then dominated the second half en route to a surprising 38-22 victory over the favored Wildcats.

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Fumble return was turning point in game

“That was the biggest swing-play of the game,” said Centerpoint coach Cary Rogers. “Most people had us losing this game, but I honestly felt we had a chance. Rison has a good ball club, but my kids played great. Our quarterback (Josh Lawson), receivers and defensive front played extremely well.

“When you win at Rison, everybody obviously plays well.”

Trailing 8-0, Centerpoint got on the scoreboard when C.J. Fox caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Lawson. They still trailed 8-6 when Houston Way scored on a 5-yard run for the Knights. A two-point conversion put Centerpoint on top, 14-8.

Rison reclaimed the momentum on a touchdown by Reggie Roshell that tied the score. Vaught’s electifying score followed.

The second half started much like the first with Rison scoring to recapture the lead at 22-21.

Centerpoint answered on a touchdown pass from Lawson to Kaden Owens. Dylan Fox ran in the two extra points to make it 29-22. Haden Rogers’ 30-yard field goal had the Knights ahead, 32-22. Lawson’s third touchdown pass put the game out of reach.

The Knights play Camden Harmony Grove next in Amity. It will only be Centerpoint’s third home game out of 11. The Hornets rallied from a 24-0 deficit in the second half Friday night to beat Piggott, 28-24.

Statistics from the Knights’ performance were not available, but Rogers was sure Lawson threw for more than 200 yards and three touchdowns.

(David Tidwell contributed to this story)