By Brad Fauber
WOODSTOCK -- Central senior quarterback Hayden Bauserman was honored for his various school passing records prior to Friday night's Bull Run District showdown against visiting Warren County. Almost as if on cue, Bauserman delivered perhaps the finest performance of his outstanding career.
The senior completed 13 of 19 passes for a career-high 350 yards and five touchdowns as the Falcons routed the Wildcats, 47-20, for an impressive win on Central's Senior Night.
"It was exciting. To be from Central High School with great quarterbacks like Matt Sherfey, Kenny Lambiotte, guys like that -- to have the records here is pretty special. But I would trade any of those records for a win," Bauserman said.
Warren County seemed to have no answer for Central's high-flying offensive attack, as the Falcons connected on big play after big play. In the first half alone, Bauserman threw touchdown passes of 58, 48, 51 and 91 yards.
Central finished with 553 total yards, while the Falcons' defense limited the Wildcats to just 276 yards.
"The offensive line did awesome. They gave me a lot of time and they opened up some big holes," Bauserman said. "My receivers made great plays ... we all just clicked as an offense tonight."
The Falcons (6-2, 4-1 Bull Run) hit on big play after big play the entire night, but it was Warren County's offense that delivered the initial blow.
After electing to receive the opening kickoff, the Wildcats (5-3, 3-2) immediately found the end zone on its first play from scrimmage, as quarterback Austen Butler (5-for-15, 104 yards, three interceptions) found senior Casey Stewart open on a streak route down the sideline for a 78-yard touchdown strike.
But it was all Falcons after that, as Warren County's offense was held out of the end zone until Josh Newman scored on a five-yard run with just 40 seconds remaining in the game. Central also forced Warren County into five turnovers.
"We came out and did what we wanted to do. We punched them in the mouth," Wildcats coach Tony Tallent said. "We felt like we had the momentum, and then the rest of the first half we just stopped ourselves."
Central answered in timely fashion, as Bauserman found senior tight end Kolton Poston over the middle for a 58-yard touchdown pass that capped a five-play, 72-yard drive to tie the game at 7-all.
"We call it the arrow play, we're running slants across the middle. It basically just brings everybody with me," said Poston, who finished with three catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns. "It worked perfectly. Everybody just flowed with it ... and it was open."
Central extended its lead to 13-7 when junior Tommy Caison snatched a screen pass from Bauserman in the flat and sprinted 48 yards to the end zone with 7:17 left in the first quarter, and a three-yard plunge by running back Daniel Molina (18 carries, 167 yards, 2 TDs) early in the second quarter gave the Falcons a 20-7 lead.
On the Falcons next possession, Hayden Bauserman found senior Justin Bauserman open over the middle for a 51-yard strike to extend Central's lead to 27-7.
"We were willing to see if there was any way that we could play man coverage on them. We figured if anybody could do it, it would probably be us," Tallent said. "We were not able to play man coverage on some of their receivers."
Central's biggest play of the night came late in the first half, as Hayden Bauserman connected with Caison for a 91-yard touchdown pass. Caison, who finished with three catches for 151 yards and two scores, was able to beat Warren County defender Demetrus Yates on a streak route for the touchdown.
"The corner on Tommy was pressing, and whenever somebody is pressing Tommy I feel like we have a good matchup," Hayden Bauserman said. "He just burned him and I just threw it up and he ran under it."
Hayden Bauserman's lone mistake of the night came with 53 seconds left in the first half, as Wildcats junior Eric Baker jumped a short pass to Caison and took it 27 yards for a touchdown to cut Central's lead to 33-13.
The Falcons opened the third quarter with a 64-yard touchdown drive that ended in a spectacular diving catch by Poston in the back of the end zone, and a 42-yard touchdown run by Molina gave Central a 47-13 lead with 5:25 left in the third quarter.
Friday's win was an important bounce-back win for the Falcons, who fell to Clarke County last week in an overtime heartbreaker. Friday's contest was also an important one for Central, as the Falcons and the Wildcats entered the game ranked fifth and sixth in Group 3A-East, respectively.
"I couldn't be more proud of our kids for bouncing back the way they did," Falcons coach Mike Yew said. "Last week we let one get away ... I asked the kids all week to rally behind us and pick me up.
"They certainly made a lot of big plays tonight. I think it will be a memorable Senior Night for years to come."