Special teams, passing game shine for Falcons in win over Generals
WOODSTOCK — A play that could have turned into disaster turned golden for Central’s Kyle Clanton on Friday night.
Stonewall Jackson punter Blake McCourt sent a punt to the Central 1-yard line where Clanton fielded it. However, Clanton collided with teammate Varsey Bright as he began to run. Clanton was able to keep going and went to the right side of the field and down the sidelines for a 99-yard touchdown in the Falcons’ 64-7 victory.
“I just saw the hole and went for it — speed takes over from there,” Clanton said. “The blocking up front was good, everybody did their job.”
In its first game of the season Central showed it can run the football. But it was the passing game and special teams that were on full display against Stonewall Jackson.
On Central’s first series of the game, Bright took a punt 58 yards to set-up the Falcons first score of the game.
Late in the game Bright almost had a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown, but it was nullified by a penalty.
Clanton said he and Bright don’t care who gets the ball and scores as long as one of them gets it.
“We have fun together,” Clanton said. “We’re good buddies. We like sharing the ball. We both like to score. We take turns.”
Clanton said it helps that they also have good blockers helping them out on kickoff and punt returns.
“They block great for us,” Clanton said. “They know how fast we are. So they get up field and block. And then they head up field and keep blocking.”
Central quarterback Zeb Dyer didn’t attempt a lot of passes against the Generals. But he completed each one of them and usually it was for big yardage.
Dyer went 5-for-5 for 131 yards and two touchdowns. His first touchdown pass went for 38 yards to a wide-open Clanton.
“The offensive line had it blocked pretty well up front,” Dyer said. “And I just seen Kyle come open across the middle, and I knew it was there.”
On Central’s first possession of the second quarter, Dyer connected with Bright on back-to-back plays for a combined 59 yards. Three plays later, Dyer connected with tight end Bryan Davis for am 11-yard touchdown pass.
In the first game of the season the Falcons ran the ball 325 yards on 47 carries. Dyer said the Falcons’ running game helps open up their passing game.
“Teams look at us more as a running team, but our receivers are dynamic, and they can make big plays,” Dyer said. “They’re very athletic.”
The Falcons (2-0) ran for 212 yards. Shane Watson had 58 yards rushing on 11 carries and three touchdowns. Sophomore Chris Conner had 73 yards on three carries and two touchdowns, all in the fourth quarter.
The Generals (0-2) struggled to surpass 100 yards of offense for the second straight game. They finished with 90 yards against the Falcons.
Stonewall Jackson coach Pete Lampman said that despite the loss he saw a few positives in the game.
“That team has a ton of speed and there’s not a whole lot you can do,” Lampman said. “You can’t teach speed and you can’t teach size. They got good-sized kids. They got a lot of speed — speed kills. I think we tackled better. We made some better reads, but speed covers a lot of things. And they’re a lot faster than we are.”
Falcons 64, Generals 7
Stonewall Jackson 0 0 7 0–7
Central 21 14 15 14–67
C: Watson 3 run (Miller kick), 8:26
C: Watson 13 run (Miller kick), 6:07
C: Clanton 38 pass from Dyer (Miller kick), 3:36
C: Davis 11 pass from Dyer (Miller kick), 8:45
C: Williams 5 run (Miller kick), :57
C: Clanton 99 punt return (Miller kick), 8:58
C: Watson 1 run (Bright run), 5:29
SJ: Ritchie 55 pass from Hoover (McCourt kick), :24
C: Conner 14 run (Miller kick), 5:31
C: Conner 57 run (Miller kick), 1:19
First downs 5 12
Rushes-yards: 39-31 26-212
Passing yards 59 160
Passing 3-12-1-1 7-7-2-0
Penalties-yards 7-42 3-35
Fumbles-lost 7-2 5-3
Punts-Avg. 6-34.0 0-0
RUSHING: Stonewall Jackson, Hoover 13-(-35), Patton 3-14, Udreka 14-20, Ritchie 7-23, Ortiz 1-1, Stith 1-8. Central, Watson 11-58, Mullins 6-47, Dyer 1-5, Bright 1-12, Williams 1-5, Shifflett 3-12, Conner 3-73.
PASSING: Stonewall Jackson, Hoover 3-10-59-1-1, Ritchie 0-1-0-0-0, McCourt 0-1-0-0-0. Central, Dyer 5-5-131-2-0, Shifflett 2-2-29-0-0.
RECEIVING: Stonewall Jackson, Ritchie 2-50, McCourt 1-9., Central, Clanton 2-61, Bright 2-59, Davis 1-11, Shockey 1-4, Daugherty 1-25.