Falcons set school record in victory over Mountaineers

WOODSTOCK – Central got its running game going early and it didn’t stop.

The Falcons set a school record for rushing yards and held on in the second half for a 45-26 Bull Run District victory over Madison County.

Central ran for 543 yards on the ground, which coach Mike Yew said was a school record.

“The offensive line just did a spectacular job,” Yew said. “There’s not much more you can really say. They made plays. Our running backs followed what they were doing and made cuts and read them and did what they were taught to do.”

Central senior Marshall McAboy ran for 210 yards on 10 carries and had two touchdowns. Fellow senior Carston Shockey had 198 yards on 16 carries and four touchdowns. Sophomore Shane Watson had 59 yards on 10 carries.

Yew said that Shockey wasn’t 100 percent healthy, so they had decided ahead of time to use all three running backs a little more than usual and it worked perfectly.

McAboy said he was surprised at how well they were all able to run the ball.

“I think our line did the best they’ve done all year,” McAboy said. “We gashed the defense completely, just huge holes up the middle. I honestly wasn’t expecting that. I know they have a pretty decent defense – just yard after yard after yard, just right up the middle and they couldn’t answer it.”

The Falcons took the lead on an 83-yard drive on their first possession.

Shockey carried the ball four straight times to move the ball to the Central 45-yard line. Marshall McAboy ran 49 yards on the next play, and Shockey finished off the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run with 5:38 left in the first quarter.

The Mountaineers threatened to score on their next two possessions, but the Central defense came up big both times.

On the first drive, Madison County drove the ball to the Central 2-yard line. However on fourth-and-2 from the Central 4, the Falcons held Madison County’s Isiah Smith to just a one-yard gain.

After a Central punt, the Mountaineers started their next possession at the Central 33. They moved the ball to the Central 2. But once again the Falcons defense rose to the occasion.

On second-and-goal from the Central 2, Central sophomore Declan Franklin stripped the ball from Isiah Smith and the Falcons recovered.

Central drove 98 yards to extend the lead. The Falcons went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Central 34, and McAboy ran for 10 yards to keep the drive alive. On the very next play McAboy went 56 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 2:57 left in the first half.

“On the fourth-down play – those are the hardest yards,” McAboy said. “The fourth downs you know you got to convert and it makes you want to get it all that more. The touchdown after that – just everybody was doing their job and that’s just the whole game plan coming together.”

The Mountaineers (4-2, 2-1 Bull Run) responded with a 58-yard drive, aided by three Central 15-yard penalties. Madison County quarterback Chris Smith scored on a 9-yard run to cut the lead to 14-7 with 1:13 left in the first half.

Central (5-1, 3-0 Bull Run) was able to score again before the half. The Falcons used eight plays to move the ball to the Madison County 11-yard line with three seconds left in the half. Central quarterback Zeb Dyer ran for 38 yards on three carries on the drive. Central senior kicker Cliff Croom hit a 29-yard field goal to give the Falcons a 17-7 advantage at halftime.

Central stretched the lead to 24-7 early in the second half. McAboy ran two straight times, the second for a 58-yard touchdown run just 35 seconds into the second half.

“The field goal at the end of the half I think was huge,” Yew said. “Then scoring the opening drive of the second half I thought we would kind of be in good shape, but Lord have mercy the fireworks started after that. Then it was a track meet after that.”

The Mountaineers scored on back-to-back possessions to cut the lead to 24-20 in the third quarter.

The Falcons responded with a seven-play drive. Shockey, who didn’t carry the ball from early in the first quarter until late in the third quarter scored on a 15-yard run with 2:01 left in the third.

McAboy said using three different running backs kept them fresh throughout the game.

“The three-headed monster – you take one head off another was there to take up for it,” McAboy said.

The two teams traded touchdowns. Central’s Alonzo Charity intercepted a Chris Smith pass on Madison’s next possession. On the very next play Shockey ran 38 yards for a touchdown to give the Falcons a 45-26 lead with 7:45 left in the game.

The win could be big for the Falcons in the postseason as both teams were in the top six in the Virginia High School League playoff ratings.

“We’re just excited. We got to keep winning,” Yew said. “There’s nothing else we can control except our own destiny. If we can win the last few I think that will put us in good position to get us a high seed in (Region) 2A East, and then once we get into the playoffs everything starts over.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com.

Falcons 45, Mountaineers 26
Madison 0 7 19 0–26
Central 7 10 14 14–45
First quarter
C: Shockey 6 run (Croom kick), 5:38
Second quarter
C: McAboy 56 run (Croom kick), 2:57
M: C. Smith 9 run (Cashman kick), 1:13
C: Croom 29 FG, :00
Third quarter
C: McAboy 58 run (Croom kick), 11:25
M: Twyman 14 pass from C. Smith (Cashman kick), 7:08
M: Breckenridge 56 pas from C. Smith (Kick blocked), 5:45
C: Shockey 15 run (Croom kick), 2:01
M: C. Smith 1 run (Pass failed), :02
Fourth quarter
C: Shockey 69 run (Croom kick), 9:58
C: Shockey 38 run (Croom kick), 7:35
First downs 20 21
Rushes-yards 32-173 46-543
Passing yards 233 7
Passing 19-24-2-2 1-7-0-1
Penalties-yards 7-46 8-79
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-2
Punts-Avg. 2-32.0 1-27.0
RUSHING: Madison County, I. Smith 17-83, C. Smith 15-90. Central, Shockey 16-148, Dyer 5-36, McAboy 10-210, Bromley 1-0, Watson 10-59, Clanton 3-35, Charity 1-5.
PASSING: Madison County, C. Smith 19-24-233-2-2. Central, Dyer 1-7-7-0-1.
RECEIVING: Madison County, Twyman 6-43, Lewis 1-4, I. Smith 4-25, Breckenridge 8-153. Central, McAboy 1-7.