Falcons ready to face Barons

Warren County's Michael White is wrapped by Central's Dravon Bowman, center, Alonzo Charity, left, and Marshall McAboy, right, during a kickoff return on Oct. 3 in Front Royal. Central is hosting Bluestone tonight in first round playoff action. Rich Cooley/Daily file

WOODSTOCK — Central will be facing a dual-threat quarterback tonight when it hosts Bluestone in the first round of the Region 2A East football playoffs.

The Barons, who will be playing in their first-ever playoff game in school history, use a spread offense and like to run quarterback Tevarius Brooks on read options.

“Honestly it’s a different offense than we’ve seen all year,” Central senior Alex Sibert said. “If we can stop their quarterback we’ll have the game – if we can stop their quarterback from throwing the ball and running the ball.”

Central coach Mike Yew said the Barons are balanced on offense, and have a lot of speed in different places all over the field.

Sibert said the team is looking forward to the challenge of trying to slow down Brooks.

“As a defensive lineman you got to kind of contain,” Sibert said. “You got to keep them on the inside of you, and if you do that everybody’s right there so you can make the play.”

Yew said that the Barons also have a couple of really good lineman and linebackers, including Maleek Pulliam.

The 12th-seeded Barons are 5-5, but have played numerous playoff teams, including top-seeded Goochland and Region 3A East No. 2 seed Park View (South Hill).

“I think we’ve both seen plenty of good opponents all year,” Yew said. “We’re not overlooking anybody at this point. We’ve talked about that all year, and it’s one week at a time. It’s win or go home, and all we can do is worry about Bluestone. If we’re fortunate enough to win (tonight) we’ll get up Saturday and start thinking about who we play next. And if we don’t win then in a few weeks we’ll start thinking about 2017.”

The Barons are averaging 23 points a game, while allowing 16.8.

The fifth-seeded Falcons (8-2) were Co-Bull Run District Champions this season and are coming off a solid 21-0 win over George Mason to close out the regular season.

Central is averaging 31.1 points per game this season while allowing 18.1.

The Falcons have rushed for 2,493 yards this season, and Yew said he’s been very pleased with his young offensive line.

“Other than Alex (Sibert) we’re fairly young on the offensive line. We start one junior, the rest of them are sophomores,” Yew said. “So with that regard we feel like we’re going to have a great future on our offensive line. Obviously, filling the void of Alex next year will be a challenge. He’s a good player, but we’ve got a lot of young kids ready, chomping at the bit,  ready to get in there.”

The Falcons showed against George Mason they can also throw the ball. Sophomore quarterback Zeb Dyer threw for 178 yards against the Mustangs. For the season he has thrown for 980 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“With him it was a process all year of spoon feeding him and getting him through the season and letting him get better at his own pace,” Yew said of Dyer. “And I think we’ve done a pretty good job with that, and he’s really matured into a pretty good little quarterback.”

The Falcons have also been solid all season on defense. Central senior Matt Bromley said the key for the Falcons has been flying to the ball as a team on defense.

“If we take away a team’s run game they don’t have much, which has helped us out a lot this season,” Bromley said.

The Falcons were in the playoffs last year, but lost to Buffalo Gap in the first round.

The players said the loss serves as a little extra motivation, and being at home this season should help them.

“It’s great because you know the fans are going to be there on your side,” Sibert said. “They’re a few hours away so they probably won’t have many fans here. It’s a playoff game so some will come, but just knowing you have the fans on your side it helps a little bit.”

Yew said the two teams have different playing styles, with the Falcons being more of a physical team, and there will be two keys to Central’s success.

“We need to keep everything in front of us and tackle in the open field,” Yew said. “And if we do that I think it will be a good night for us. If we don’t do those two things it could be a long night.”

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