RB Molina helping give Central greater balance

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

WOODSTOCK — With the conditions as rainy and slick as they could be, Central running back Daniel Molina knew he was going to have to produce for the Falcons last week in their game against William Monroe.

As he has all season, Molina stepped up big time to help the Falcons pull out a win, on a night where the usually potent passing game was ineffective.

Molina ran for 238 yards on 24 carries and three touchdowns in the Falcons’ 24-8 win.

“I told [fullback] Hamilton [Argueta] it’s going to be all about us this game, because with it being that slick you can’t catch the ball, so there’s nothing else to do other than run it,” Molina said.

For his stellar performance, Molina is The Northern Virginia Daily’s Male Athlete of the Week for the week of Oct. 6-12.

Molina said he kept telling himself to keep his hands on the ball in what he said was the toughest conditions he’s ever played in.

The Falcons (5-1, 3-0 Bull Run) have been known for their strong passing game. Central has thrown for 1,273 yards this season. Central quarterback Hayden Bauserman has plenty of options to throw it to. All the attention on the passing game has left Central’s running game a little under-rated this season.

“I think teams have overlooked it because when [wide receiver] Tommy [Caison] joined us [transferring from Strasburg], he gave us an added spark that could stretch the field,” Central coach Mike Yew said. “With us having the deep ball threat and then some guys underneath him that can catch, and then you throw Daniel’s running game in there — we have three pretty decent aspects of the game.”

Molina had 146 yards against Manassas Park two weeks ago, and he said he feels like teams probably won’t be overlooking him anymore.

“You want people to know who you are, so you got to go out there and do your best so they don’t overlook you.” Molina said.

Bauserman said he loves to see Molina have big games running the ball.

“Daniel’s a really good running back and I love to watch Daniel run like that,” Bauserman said. “I love to watch our offensive line block like that, and it gives our whole offense a pretty big boost of confidence knowing that we don’t just have to pass the ball all the time, we can run the ball, too.

“I love throwing the ball, obviously, but to be a successful team you have to be able to run the ball.”

Molina missed the last five games of last season after tearing his meniscus, but has bounced back strong this season.

For the season Molina has 790 rushing yards on 96 carries, 8.2 yards per carry. Molina said Central’s offensive line has been a big key to his success this season.

Despite the great season he’s having at running back, Molina said his favorite play of the season came on an 86-yard kick return against George Mason earlier this season.

“The kick return was just because that was the first one of the season,” Molina said. “And I really needed that one.”

Yew said Molina’s size, at 5-foot-6, helps him to be an even better runner.

“He has the ability to get in there and tuck behind people and then explode through the hole,” Yew said. “He’s got good quickness. He’s not a fast kid, but he’s got nice cut and good quickness. And he makes the best of his cuts, and really makes them pay for it when they don’t tackle him at the line.”

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com