Falcons soar past Dragons for fourth straight win

Central's Tristan Rau hauls in a pass while William Monroe's Jordan Gray tries to recover during second quarter action Friday in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily
Central's Varsey Bright picks up yardage on this second quarter run as William Monroe's Jordan Gray prepares to make a hit during Friday's game in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily
Central's Hank Hoover hauls in this pass Friday as William Monroe's Malik Mallory tries to catch up during first quarter action in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily
Central's quarterback Jordan Hosaflook runs to the outside while William Monroe's Austin Morris pursues him during first quarter action Friday in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily
Central's Hank Hoover carries the ball on this second-quarter touchdown run against William Monroe on Oct. 23 in Woodstock. The Falcons play at Strasburg tonight. Rich Cooley/Daily file

WOODSTOCK – Central’s football team opened up its playbook Friday night.

Facing a William Monroe defense that consistently stacked the box against Falcons senior running back Hank Hoover, Central gashed the Dragons with big plays through the air, and the Falcons defense snagged three interceptions that turned into 17 points as Central rolled to a 44-12 Bull Run District victory.

It was Central’s fourth straight win and improved the Falcons to 5-3.

“I figured they would try to load it down in the middle and try to stop Hank’s run game,” Falcons senior quarterback Jordon Hosaflook said. “We just took that to our advantage and started hitting the passing on the outside.”

Hosaflook completed 9 of 14 passes for 216 yards and four touchdowns, and only two of his completions gained less than 20 yards. Central’s offense rolled up 391 yards in the win, including 259 yards in the first half.

“We thought their game plan – which everybody’s is – was to stop Hank Hoover,” Falcons coach Mike Yew said. “And Jordon has, from week one to week eight, Jordon Hosaflook has improved dramatically. I told him that tonight. He’s buying into the reads, he’s doing what we’re asking him to do, he’s throwing it where we’re asking him to throw it and he’s doing a great job.

“They put eight (defenders) in the box. We took advantage of it.”

The Falcons – who have scored at least 40 points in each game of their four-game streak – ventured away from their typical offensive style immediately on the game’s opening drive, as speedy receiver Varsey Bright and Hosaflook recorded the first two carries and netted 28 total yards. Central’s drive eventually stalled on downs at the Monroe 22, but a short punt following a Dragons’ three-and-out on their first possession gave the Falcons great field position.

Central capitalized with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Hosaflook to senior tight end Brandon Braithwaite to cap the 44-yard drive and take a 7-0 lead with 5:16 left in the first quarter. Hosaflook faked a handoff to Hoover on the play and found Braithwaite wide open in the end zone.

Bright hauled in a diving interception at the Dragons’ 36 on the second play of William Monroe’s second drive to set up a 21-yard field goal by Cliff Croom late in the first quarter.

Bright factored heavily into Central’s offense in the first half, as he rushed four times for 35 yards and caught two passes for 59 yards.

“He makes things happen,” Yew said of Bright. “He’s one of those kids, he’s a special athlete so (we’re) finding ways to get him involved.”

William Monroe put together its most consistent drive of the night on its next possession, as the Dragons used 13 plays to reach the Central 26. But quarterback Malique Shackelford saw his second-down pass hit his receiver in the hands before bouncing high in the air, where it was snagged by Falcons senior Tristan Rau at the 10 with 6:53 left in the first half.

“It was kind of nice, it got the (momentum) going and got everybody hyped,” said Rau, who hauled in another interception off a tipped pass in the second half.

Hosaflook promptly marched Central (3-1 Bull Run) into William Monroe (1-7, 1-4) territory on passes of 28 and 33 yards to Bright and Rau, respectively, before Hoover scored from 5 yards out to put the Falcons up 17-0.

The Dragons answered with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Shackelford (9-for-21, 76 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions) to Kyle Kruszewski to cut the Falcons’ lead to 17-6 with 1:36 left in the first half but a 36-yard kickoff return by Braithwaite set up a quick three-play, 51-yard touchdown drive for the Falcons, who took a 24-6 lead into halftime.

“We weren’t gonna go for anything but then he got us up to about midfield and then it made the decision a little bit easier for us to try to make something happen,” Yew said.

Hosaflook found Bright for a 31-yard pass on Central’s second play of the drive and then connected with Rau for a 23-yard scoring strike as Hosaflook rolled to his right to draw the defense before firing back to his left as Rau crossed the end zone wide open.

“That set the tone for the rest of the game,” said Hosaflook, who completed seven straight passes at one point. “If we go in (to halftime) hype then we come out hype.”

Rau finished with three catches for 66 yards and a touchdown in addition to his two interceptions.

Central continued to roll in the second half, as a sack on fourth down by Falcons senior Matt Edwards halted Monroe’s opening drive of the third quarter, which Central followed with a 42-yard touchdown pass from Hosaflook to Hoover on a screen pass that featured great downfield blocking.

Hosaflook threw his fourth touchdown pass of the night on an 8-yarder to Bryan Davis following Rau’s interception late in the third quarter. Trey Riley capped the Falcons’ scoring with a 5-yard scoring run with 6:36 to play.

Hoover finished with 21 carries for 86 yards, a large chunk of which came on a 31-yard run in the fourth quarter. He also had 63 yards receiving.

Central limited William Monroe to 230 yards of offense. Dragons running back Malik Mallory had 101 yards rushing on 22 carries.

“I thought that might be our best, most complete game all year,” Yew said.

Central will travel to county rival Strasburg next week, a game between a pair of 5-3 teams with Group 2A East playoff implications.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com

Box Score
Falcons 44, Green Dragons 12
William Monroe 0 6 0 6 – 12
Central 10 14 13 7 – 44
First Quarter
C: Braithwaite 20 pass from Hosaflook (Croom kick), 5:16.
C: Croom 21 field goal, 1:29.
Second Quarter
C: Hoover 5 run (Croom kick), 3:42.
WM: Kruszewski 25 pass from Shackelford (kick failed), 1:36.
C: Rau 23 pass from Hosaflook (Croom kick), 0:34.
Third Quarter
C: Hoover 42 pass from Hosaflook (kick failed), 3:26.
C: Bry. Davis 8 pass from Hosaflook (Croom kick), 1:40.
Fourth Quarter
C: Riley 5 run (Croom kick), 6:36.
WM: Bates 4 run (kick failed), 0:30.
First downs 11 10
Rushes-yards 40-154 33-175
Passing yards 76 216
Comp-Att-TD-INT 9-21-1-3 9-14-4-0
Punts 2-30.0 1-37.0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 0-0
Penalties 6-51 5-64
RUSHING: William Monroe, Mallory 21-101, Trevillian 1-5, Sizemore 3-3, Pritchett 8-39, Shackelford 2-(-8), Morris 1-3, Bates 3-11; Central, Hoover 21-86, Bright 4-35, Hosaflook 3-29, Shockey 2-4, Riley 3-21.
PASSING: William Monroe, Shackelford 9-21-76-1-3; Central, Hosaflook 9-14-216-4-0.
RECEIVING: William Monroe, Trevillian 2-(-6), Hayes 2-23, Gray 2-20, Kruszewski 2-36, Mallory 1-3; Central, Braithwaite 1-20, Hoover 2-63, Bright 2-59, Rau 3-66, Bry. Davis 1-8.

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