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Central Football Notebook: Falcons handling success one week at a time

Central's Shane Watson celebrates after a touchdown run on Sept. 1 against Stonewall. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK – It would be easy for Central High School’s football team to become relaxed in its weekly preparation given the Falcons’ start to the season. The 2017 campaign is now four weeks old, and the Falcons don’t appear to be letting off the gas.

Central’s 75-21 beat-down of scuffling Park View (Sterling) last Friday night was the fourth blowout victory in a row for the Falcons, who have outscored opponents by an average margin of 48.5 points per game during that span.

Falcons head coach Mike Yew said following Friday’s win – which saw Central pile up 455 yards and 62 points in the first half – that his team is buying into the coaching staff’s persistent message to take no team lightly.

“I think they are. We try to remind them every day, it’s real easy when you’re good to be a little bit lazy and we are in a sense trying to, we’re continuing to push that mode but at the same time keeping our kids’ ear and begging them to come in (with the right mindset),” Yew said.

Central, which enters its bye week averaging 58.8 points per game this season, next travels to King William – a team still seeking its first win of the 2017 when it hosts Washington & Lee this week – on Sept. 29 before starting its Bull Run District slate with a game at Clarke County the following week.

“We’re gonna go uppers two days, full gear two days, so we wanna come in next week and just get a lot of work done and be a better team when Thursday rolls around than we were on Monday,” Yew said last week.

RETURN SPECIALISTS: Central’s special teams continued to make an impact in a big way in last week’s victory with junior Kyle Clanton’s 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The Falcons have returned at least one punt/kickoff for a touchdown in each of the last three games and have five total return TDs already in 2017.

Clanton, an all-state kick/punt returner in 2016, also set up a short touchdown drive against Park View with a 45-yard punt return and is averaging 37.8 yards on seven punt returns this season. Three of those have gone for touchdowns.

Varsey Bright, a senior, had a punt return for a score in a win over Manassas Park in Week 3 and is averaging 24.3 yards on three kickoff returns.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: The Falcons scored 11 total touchdowns – 10 offensively – in the win over Park View and used seven different players to accomplish the feat.

That number included touchdown runs from six different rushers, as Shane Watson, Bright, Hunter Mullins, Clanton, Bryan Davis and Mason Marston each found the end zone. To highlight Central’s true dominance in the victory, Marston, a seldom-used running back, took a toss sweep around the left side for a 36-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter on his only carry of the night.

Yew said the Falcons’ ability to get so many players into the end zone against Park View was not necessarily done on purpose.

“I really don’t worry about that but we wanted to try a couple things,” he said. “We wanted to see how (Marston) could run with a toss sweep because generally … we don’t run outside a lot. So we were looking for another guy other than Kyle or Varsey, and we give him the ball one time and it goes 40 yards for a touchdown, I think.

“But that’s just, our kids blocked real well and our running backs ran. We did a good job hitting the holes … but we really pounded. We lined up and we won the battle.”

For the season, 11 different players have combined to score Central’s 34 touchdowns through the first four games, and eight of those have found the end zone multiple times.

Clanton has been amazingly efficient in finding the end zone this season. Of his 22 total touches through four games (four rushes, nine receptions, seven punt returns and two kick returns), the junior has 11 touchdowns (three rushing, four receiving, three punt return and a kick return).