How Centralia-Hallsville became a major high school football rivalry

Centralia's Beau Hatton (3) celebrates after forcing a fumble on opportunities, sealing the Panthers' 26-20 victory over Hallsville on September 2, 2022.

As a light mist lifted from the Centralia High School football field Friday night, running back Kyden Wilkerson made his way to the north end zone as the game clock read 1:00 remaining.

Wilkerson and the Panthers just completed a nine-play drive to pay off the foul, erasing 4:42 of playing time and giving Centralia a 26-20 lead. Four defensive plays later, the Panthers sealed the victory by six points.

As the Centralia players raged on the sidelines, they celebrated a match that has become an unmissable rivalry.

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After Hallsville beat Centralia twice last season, the Panthers regain bragging rights until the next time the two play.

“It keeps growing,” Wilkerson said. “We are the neighborhood bullies.”

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