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By Brad Fauber - firstname.lastname@example.org
WOODSTOCK -- Central finally found the offense that it had been desperately searching for on Friday night.
The Falcons (1-4 overall, 1-0 Bull Run District) racked up 378 yards of offense in their 36-7 victory over visiting George Mason on senior night, led by sophomore quarterback Hayden Bauserman and senior receiver Sean Semones. Bauserman threw for 198 yards and four touchdowns, with Semones on the receiving end of most of that, recording 160 yards on five catches and three touchdowns.
"Senior night, all of the parents out here -- having this kind of performance was just amazing," Semones said. "We needed this. It was just a great atmosphere tonight, even though it was nasty weather, but we pulled it off."
Bauserman and Semones went to work early, connecting on the Falcons' first touchdown pass of the night with just over five minutes left in the first quarter. After a promising first drive for the Falcons ended deep in Mustangs territory, Bauserman hit a wide-open Semones on a deep pass down the Falcons' sideline during their second drive, and the senior receiver took it 73 yards untouched.
"I definitely think they were trying to stop the run in that situation," Bauserman said. "There was one-on-one coverage on the outside, I dropped back and saw him open, and Sean's a fast guy so you have to throw it up there. It cleared out there and he made a play."
The pair wasted little time before connecting on another huge play. After a third consecutive three-and-out by the Falcons' defense, Bauserman hit Semones again, this time on a route right down the middle of the defense, and the senior took it 54 yards for another touchdown with 11 minutes left in the second quarter.
"Semones was in the slot, and we just checked to a nine route, a skinny post," Central coach Mike Yew said. "And they didn't have a safety. We thought they were playing man-to-man, and [Semones] just ended up getting behind him and scored."
Bauserman added two more touchdowns in the half, a 29-yard pass to junior Jordan Umstead and a 26-yarder to Semones with 18 seconds left in the half to stretch the lead to 26-0. He did not attempt a pass in the second half.
"I definitely have to give a lot of credit to the [offensive] line, they definitely gave me time to throw," Bauserman said. "We all played together tonight, it wasn't just a one-guy thing."
The win was the first for the Falcons this season, but it came at a good time as Friday marked their first official district game of the year, giving Central some positive things to focus on as the team heads deeper into district play.
"[District play] is going to be tough, and it's just a good booster tonight," said Semones. "We came ready to play -- we knew we had to win. Senior night got us going and we were being good leaders. It's a great feeling."
George Mason (1-3, 0-1) could not find its offense all night as it struggled to move the football against a stingy Falcons defense. The Mustangs only mustered 86 yards, most of that coming on their final drive of the night which ended in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Grant Hagler to Dimitrios Venets with 30 seconds left in the game.
"The field was certainly in our favor," Yew said of the muddy playing conditions. "We knew they were a spread wing team with a lot of shotgun snaps, and the muddy field certainly neutralizes that. We thought we played pretty well the last few games defensively, but tonight really came together for us."