By Tommy Keeler Jr.
BERRYVILLE -- Earlier this season, Central coach Mike Yew decided to go for a 2-point conversion in a double overtime loss. On Friday night, Yew had the same tough decision to make.
Yew and the Falcons went for the extra point, but Clarke County blocked it to pull out a 33-32 overtime victory in Bull Run District action.
"Tonight there was no decision to be made," Yew said. "With the district title on the line, you want to play it safe.
"We've struggled with our kicking game all year. It's something we'll address on Monday."
The Falcons appeared to be in control of the game with a 26-20 lead and the ball at the Clarke County 21 with less than three minutes left. Central quarterback Hayden Bauserman was hit from behind by Clarke County's Julius Grant and fumbled the ball. Clarke County's Ben Wallace picked it up and ran 60 yards to tie the game at 26-26 with 2:54 remaining.
"I always tell the kids to be champions you have to make plays," Clarke County coach Chris Parker said. "The kids made plays tonight. I'm very proud of them. We just beat a quality football team."
The Falcons (5-2, 3-1 Bull Run) still had one last chance in regulation. They drove 61 yards and moved the ball to the Clarke County 8-yard line with 10 seconds left. Bauserman was sacked on the next play, sending the game to overtime.
The Eagles (7-0, 4-0) went on offense first in overtime. Clarke County quarterback Sean McDonald took a broken play and turned it into a 9-yard touchdown run and Josh Dulaney's extra point made it 33-32.
Central needed only one play to score as Kolton Poston caught a pass in between two Clarke County defenders to cut the lead to 33-32. Central's Eric Ventura tried the extra point, but the Eagles penetrated the line of scrimmage for the block.
"That was huge," Parker said.
Central ran only 13 plays on offense in the first half, as the Eagles controlled time of possession. A kick return by Daniel Molina and a punt return by Tommy Caison were the Falcons' only scores.
Molina didn't have any carries in the first half, but made the most of his opportunities in the second half.
The senior tailback an seven straight times for 53 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown to give Central a 20-14 lead with 9:28 left in the third quarter.
"I'm not sure what changed, but the line decided to suck it up and we drove down the field in the second half," Yew said. "Daniel ran the ball hard, as he always does."
The Eagles came right back with a 78-yard drive on 11 plays. McDonald found Kasey Lake for a 48-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 20.
Central then put together a 16-play, 83-yard drive. One of the biggest plays was a 22-yard completion from Bauserman to Poston on third-and-7 from the Clarke County 30. Three plays later Molina ran it in from the 1-yard line to give Central a 26-20 lead.
The Falcons stopped McDonald for a 1-yard loss on third-and-1 from the Clarke County 33 to force the Eagles to punt on their next possession.
"I felt like we did everything right in the second half," Yew said.
Running out of the single wing the Eagles ran for 242 yards. Molina finished with 97 yards on 25 carries, all in the second half. Bauserman was 15 for 26 for 205 yards passing for the Falcons.
The win gives the Eagles sole possession of first place in the Bull Run District.
"We'll bounce back," Yew said. "We have to get ready for Warren County, and work hard in practice and get better."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org