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Century falls to 0-4 in football with loss against No. 1 Mankato West

Mankato West defeated Century 49-0 on Saturday in Big Southeast District play.

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MANKATO — The Century football team concluded the toughest part of its regular-season schedule on Saturday. But despite facing an elite foe, Century coach Jon Vik wasn’t thrilled with the Panthers’ performance.

Century saw its record nip to 0-4 with a 49-0 loss to Mankato West in in Big Southeast District. West (4-0) is the defending Class AAAAA state champion and ranked No. 1 in the state this season.

“I’m very disappointed in the way we played,” Vik said. “They’re an excellent football team, one of the best in the state if not the best in the state, but I’m very disappointed in our energy and how we played as a team. We’re better than what we showed today.”

The game began at noon and Vik said both teams got off to a slow start.

“It was very quiet to start the game,” Vik said. “There was very little energy. But we didn’t play the brand of football that I hoped we would play.”

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Century was able to muster just 50 yards of offense. Quarterback Harrison Esau was 6-for-23 passing with three interceptions for 78 yards. Elijah Thompson had two catches for 53 yards and Joshua Berg had two grabs for nine yards.

Century had minus-28 yards rushing as Esau was sacked four times and the Panthers also lost yardage on a muffed punt snap. Ahmante Davis had eight yards rushing on three carries while Carson Skime had six yards on two carries.

The Panthers have started the season with four tough opponents. Vik had stressed to his team the need to play better against the No. 1-ranked team in Class AAAAA. But Century wasn’t able to execute.

“We have to grow as a team and I think that was an emotional lesson for us,” Vik said.

Vik stressed that point at halftime and at the end of the game. Century is now at the halfway point of its season. After starting 0-4 a year ago, the Panthers rebounded to finish 4-6.

“We can’t wait any longer to play the type of football that we want to play,” Vik said. “We talked about being a younger team and developing as we go. Each week we’ve improved in some areas and found something that we’ve gotten better at. … We have to start putting things together.”

The Panthers will play a second straight Saturday game this week when they host Austin at 6 p.m. The game is Century’s homecoming. The Panthers then close the regular season at Northfield, against John Marshall and at Winona.

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