Motivated Falcons take down Thomas Jefferson

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

WOODSTOCK — Central had a little extra motivation for its playoff game with Thomas Jefferson (Richmond) on Saturday. The third-seeded Falcons felt they weren’t being respected around the state and they wanted to show they deserved their seeding.

Central dominated the Class 3A playoff game from start to finish in a 39-16 win over the Vikings on Saturday afternoon. Central will host sixth-seeded Poquoson Saturday at 2 p.m. in the second round.

“A lot of people didn’t really give us respect going into this game, even though we were the three-seed,” Central senior quarterback Hayden Bauserman said. “They played some tough competition this year, so everybody thought we were a soft team — didn’t give us the respect. That was kind of the motto in the locker room, ‘go get our respect.’ I think we did a pretty good job at it.”

The Falcons (9-2) came out strong, and once again Central’s balanced offense shined. The Vikings (3-8) put a lot of players in the box focused on stopping Central’s running game, and held the Falcons to only 109 yards rushing. However, that allowed Central’s passing game plenty of opportunities and the Falcons took advantage. Bauserman threw for 338 yards on 14 for 22 passing and five touchdowns.

Bauserman connected twice in the first quarter with Tommy Caison for touchdowns and a 13-0 lead.

On the first touchdown, Caison was able to beat his defender and easily ran down the sidelines for a 64-yard touchdown. On the second touchdown, Bauserman threw up a 26-yard pass, and Caison made a leaping catch for the score.

“It was fun watching him make that catch,” Bauserman said of Caison. “It was a pretty acrobatic catch, and it showed off his athleticism pretty well.”

Caison injured his ankle on the play and the junior did not return, but the Falcons showed the depth that they have at receiver.

For the second straight week, seven different players caught passes for Central. Justin Bauserman led the way with four catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

On Central’s next drive, Hayden Bauserman connected with Justin Bauserman on a 47-yard pass to move the ball to the Viking 15-yard line. Two plays later, Hayden Bauserman threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Kolton Poston for a 19-0 lead with 6:03 left in the second quarter.

On Central’s second drive of the second half they stretched the lead to 25-0 on a 43-yard pass from Hayden to Justin Bauserman.

“I caught it and I knew the [defender] was right behind me,” Justin Bauserman said. “He grabbed my jersey and pulled me around. I just got a bolt of speed and just got outside and got to the end zone.”

Central held Thomas Jeferson to only 200 yards of total offense.

“Defensively, I thought we played great,” Central coach Mike Yew said. “They are a team with a lot of speed, and when they got out in space they showed that they could make plays. So, we made it an effort this week to try and keep the quarterback in the box, and try to make him beat us with his arm.”

The Falcons won two playoff games last year in Division 2, but have moved up a class this season. After their first playoff win at the Class 3A level the Falcons felt like they showed that they can play with the other 3A teams.

“I think tonight we showed it,” Justin Bauserman said of earning respect. “On [the website] Virginia Preps, they were just banging us up [last week]. We were watching film and we were like ‘go look at the comments on the game.’ They were just banging our secondary up and our whole team. I think tonight we showed them that we are a disciplined team, and that we can play with these Richmond teams and any team [we face].

“I think we can take it far this year.”

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