By Tommy Keeler Jr.
WOODSTOCK -- Central finally ran into someone or something that could slow down its powerful offense -- the rain.
A steady downpour throughout hurt Central's passing game, but the Falcons rode their running game to a 24-8 Bull Run District win over William Monroe on Friday night.
"I was very happy that we were able to get 24 points in the mud," Central coach Mike Yew said. "It was hard to get traction. I was very pleased with how we played in the conditions."
The Falcons ran for 285 yards in the mud and slop. Central senior running back Daniel Molina ran for 229 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns.
Molina said it was especially hard trying to hang onto the ball.
"The best way I can describe is like trying to hang onto to a wet bar of soap," Molina said. "Ball security is the No. 1 thing. You have to hang onto the ball."
Both teams had trouble hanging onto the ball, as the Dragons fumbled three times and Central fumbled once.
The Falcons started off slowly. They marched on their first drive all the way down to the William Monroe 32 before it stalled out.
The two teams traded stalled drives and punts until the Dragons finally took the lead in the second quarter.
William Monroe went 84 yards in seven plays. William Monroe's Cody Perkins ran 10 yards to the Central 41. William Monroe quarterback Tyler Trevillian connected with Alexander DeLeon for a 41-yard touchdown pass to take an 8-0 lead with 9:15 left in the first half. The pass came with a little help from Central's Tommy Caison. The junior defensive back attempted to intercept the pass, but it went through his hands and into DeLeon's for the score.
"Our kids were a little down after that," Yew said. "I was a little worried, but they responded."
Central came back on its next drive. The Falcons went 58 yards on eight plays. Molina ran for 20 yards on the first play of the drive. Central quarterback Hayden Bauserman connected with Kolton Poston for a 16-yard gain, which moved the ball to the William Monroe 24.
Bauserman capped off the drive with a 4-yard run, after a bobbled snap, to cut the lead to 8-6 with 5:51 left in the first half.
Central needed only one play to score on its next possession. Molina cut back to the left sidelines and ran it in from 45 yards out to give Central a 12-8 lead with 3:46 left in the first half.
"We knew going in the rain was going to be a big factor and we were going to have to run the ball," Molina said. "We knew we would have to make some key plays in the running game."
After a scoreless third quarter, Molina scored on a 56-yard run to give the Falcons an 18-8 lead with 10:50 left in the game.
"I needed that," Molina said of the score. "I had fumbled on the last drive, and I wanted to make up for it."
Molina added another rushing touchdown with 2:11 left in the game.
"Our whole offensive line did a good job tonight," Yew said.
The Falcons held the Dragons to 216 yards. William Monroe's Cody Perkins had 141 yards on 29 carries.
"I think the defense did a great job tonight," Yew said. "We knew their running back was talented. They've run the ball well against every team they've played. That's a very good 1-5 team."
It was Homecoming for Central, but Molina said the team was extra-fired up for another reason - they wore brand new gold jerseys for the game.
"They told us we were going to wear white tonight. So after pre-game we went in and we all had these gold jerseys hanging up and we were all so excited," Molina said. "I think they're just for special occasions. We all love them. It just feels awesome to wear them."