Central answers wakeup call
QUICKSBURG – The Central High School Falcons bulled past the Stonewall Jackson Generals on Friday night in Quicksburg 40-18 in a showdown of two Shenandoah County schools.
A week ago the Generals, now 0-2, led another county archrival at the half only to falter to Strasburg. This time they did similarly. They enjoyed another halftime lead – this one 12-7 – only to fall as the Falcons (2-0) scored on almost every possession of the second half.
“I don’t think they really wore us down. They’re a good team and they played well, but there were things we can do better too. We go from here,” said head coach Jay Goode.
“Give Stonewall credit,” said winning coach Mike Yew. “They came out in the first half and took it to us. To tell you the truth – and this is taking nothing away from Stonewall – but we scored first and then thought, frankly, we could walk through it. Then guys started stuff on their own. But our motto is ‘Rely on the gameplan and rely on the man beside you.’
“At least I think we did that.”
In a big way.
On its first possession Central took just four plays to score. The drive was capped by a 42-yard sprint by Carston Shockey (second straight game of 118 yards rushing). Clifton Croom’s kick was good and the Falcons were on the board, 7-0, with 8:06 showing in the first quarter.
When Stonewall got the ball it went right to the rush. Sophomore Logan Ritchie got things started off well, but it was starting quarterback Brendan Hoover who carried 21 yards to the 15. Three plays later Jacob Murphy broke through for the 1-yard TD. The extra point missed. It was 7-6 Central at 7:27 of the first half.
Perhaps the biggest loss for the Generals was that Hoover later went out with what Coach Goode called an injured collarbone.
“He might be out for the season,” said the second-year SJHS coach.
Central had several mishaps on an offensive drive that started at its own 40. After two bad snaps over the head of left-handed quarterback Zeb Dyer and two penalties the Falcons faced a fourth-and-57-yards to go. A short punt gave SJ excellent field position at the Falcon 28.
On second down Hoover rolled right and found Chris Williams a yard short of the end zone. Murphy bolted over from the 1, but the 2-point conversion failed. Even so, the Generals led 12-7.
That momentum carried over to the defense. After Shockey burst off right tackle for 25 yards, again the Falcons went backwards. Two Stonewall sacks kept them at bay as the half ended.
Stonewall quickly hit the field out of a shortened intermission, but it was Central that got on the board. Central’s senior running back Matthew Bromley carried the opening kickoff to the Jackson 48. After a penalty, big Dyer rolled left and found Bromley in the flat. The 187-pounder rumbled 48 yards for the score.
“That was a big play for us right there,” Yew said. “That kind of changed things.”
Croom’s kick was good and the Falcons were on top 14-12 with 10:03 left in the third period.
Central kept on coming. Several penalties set the Generals back near their goal line. Williams’ punt found returner Kyle Clanton who waltzed 43 yards around left end and sprinted down the same sideline as Bromley had. The PAT was good. The Falcons led 21-12 with 7:24 to go in the third.
Three fumbles ensued. Fortunately for the Falcons they were on the recovering end of the third one. That one gave them the ball on the General 31. On a first down Marshall McAboy rumbled up the middle for 20-yard TD with 3:30 left in the third.
Stonewall stopped the 2-point conversion but Central led 27-12 with 3:30 left in the third period. The Falcons had scored on three of four third-period possessions.
Central opened the fourth period with another score. On third-and-1 sophomore Clanton took an end-around pitch and wheeled down his left sideline. He eluded three Generals as he sprinted into the end zone for the 43-yard score.
The kick was good. The Falcons led 34-12 with the kick.
The points kept coming for the visitors. After a Shockey interception put the ball at the 7, Dyer went to tight end Andrew Miller for the 7-yard scoring toss. The shotgun snap flew over quarterback Dyer’s head, so the extra point was eliminated. Still it was 40-12 Central with 6:54 showing.
Stonewall could take some solace from late in the game. With quarterback Hoover recovering on the bench, his backup, Ritchie, ran well. Murphy zoomed up the middle for a 67-yard TD. The point-after failed and the final was 40-18.
“We’ve just got to get over that hump and play for 40 minutes. It’s hard right now. But we’ll do it. We’ve just got to keeping working,” said Yew.
Falcons 40, Generals 18
Central 7 0 20 13-40
Stonewall 0 12 0 6–18
C-Shockey 42 run (kick good)
SJ-Murphy 1 run (kick failed)
SJ-Murphy 1 run (2-point conversion failed)
C-Bromley 48 pass from Dyer (Croom kick)
C-Clanton 43 punt return (Croom kick)
C-McAboy 20 run (2-point conversion failed)
C-Clanton 43 punt return (Croom kick)
C-Miller 7 pass from Dyer (2-point conversion failed)
SJ-Murphy 67 run
First downs 6 11
Rushing yards 150 168
Passing yards 55 30
Passing 1-5-1-1 1-5-1-1
Penalties-yards 6-65 6-25
Fumbles-lost 3-1 3-2
Punts-Avg. 2-28 3-30
C-Dyer -36, Shockey 118, Abrams 5, McAboy 30, Clanton 43
SJ-Hoover 28, Howdyshell 12, Murphy 109, Ritchie 18
C-Dyer 1-5-1-1, 48
SJ-Hoover 1-3, 30; Ritchie 0-2-1