It was a heart-breaking conclusion to a season filled with so many emotional moments.
The Indians (1-8) got a 27-yard touchdown catch from Jayden Smith with 1:50 left in regulation to pull within a point of Bryan Station on Friday in Lexington.
That one point slipped away seconds later.
A bad snap led to a missed extra point, which allowed the Defenders (9-1) to escape with a 14-13 win in the opening round of the Class 6A Playoffs.
Station will play host to Oldham County next week in the district title game.
"With all the stuff these kids have gone through, they found it within themselves to pull it back together and go out and fight again," Madison Central coach Mark Scenters said. "And they dang near pulled it off."
The result on Friday was in stark contrast to the regular-season meeting between the teams. Station picked up a 21-0 win in a game that was stopped at halftime because of lightning.
Central had just nine yards of offense and no first downs.
The Indians never led in the rematch, but they never let Station pull away either.
Carl Munford gave the Defenders a 7-0 lead with a 20-yard TD catch from Mikaleb Coffey with 9:53 left in the second quarter. Central got even six minutes later on a 1-yard TD run by quarterback Canon Scenters.
The game remained tied until Athraivion Jenkins caught a 4-yard TD pass from Coffey with 4:11 left in the third quarter.
Central's final drive lasted nine plays and covered 74 yards. A pass interference penalty kept the chains moving before Adrien Parks added runs of seven and 12 yards. Kenyatta Hardge also had a 9-yard reception to help set up the touchdown pass to West.
"He ran a post off the backside," Scenters said of West. "We were in a situation where we wanted to take a shot."
After the missed extra point, Station was able to run out the clock and secure a ninth-straight win.
The Indians finish the season with eight-straight losses.
The Defenders out-gained Central, 276-212, but both teams had 14 first downs.
Parks had a team-best 80 yards rushing for Central, while Hardge added 48 yards on the ground.
Scenters completed 6-of-11 passes for 85 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Joseph Burton had two catches for nine yards.
Anthony McLaughlin had an interception, while Jeffrey Kinley had a team-best eight tackles.
Coffey was 13-of-20 for 169 yards. Joseph Bond led Station with 87 yards rushing on 21 attempts.