Central Football Notebook: Clanton, Bright add to Falcons’ run game in win
BERRYVILLE — Kyle Clanton got yardage in a different way for Central this week.
The junior wide receiver lined up at tailback at times during Central’s 40-0 win over Clarke County and it paid off for the Falcons. Clanton finished with 91 yards on 11 carries and two rushing touchdowns.
“I wouldn’t say it was scary because our O-line did such a good job making holes,” Clanton said. “And I just ran fast like I usually do. They made the holes and put me where I belong in the end zone. I like it in the backfield a lot. I like running the ball. I don’t mind getting beat up a little bit.”
Central coach Mike Yew said that using Clanton and fellow wide receiver Varsey Bright in the backfield was just a wrinkle they put in to catch Clarke County off guard. Bright had three carries for 31 yards in the game. Both receivers have had some carries this season, but it was the first time they’ve lined up in the backfield.
Clanton said he played at running back on Central’s junior varsity team and in Little League so it wasn’t really new to him. He said it is definitely a little different than lining up at wide receiver.
“You get the ball more often in the backfield, of course,” Clanton said. “You don’t have to focus on catching much. You just take off after you get the handoff.”
Having Clanton and Bright play at tailback some gives Central’s opponents something to think about. The Falcons usually go with more of a power running game with Shane Watson and Hunter Mullins in their I-formation.
Clanton had 11 carries, while Watson had 12 to lead the rushing attack. The two give the Falcons a lightning and thunder combination that Clayton said could be very effective.
“He’s definitely the thunder,” Clanton said of Watson. “He’s the kaboom. He likes to run over people and I run around them. Having both of that on the same team is a great feeling.”
PART THREE OF THE SEASON: Yew said he told his team before the season started that there were four parts to the season, and right now they are in the third part.
“The preseason is the first part,” Yew said. “The first five games are the second part of the season. The next five are the third part and then the playoffs are the final part. So we’re in part three of the season and we got to keep digging, keep working hard in practice every day.”
The Falcons still have three Bull Run District games left, plus a showdown with defending Group A state champion Riverheads.
The win over Clarke County put the Falcons in position to win the district title and have a solid spot in the playoffs. Clanton said he still feels like Central can play better than they have.
“This was definitely a big boost,” Clanton said. “We played I wouldn’t say bad, bad teams (this season). But we haven’t played up to our potential yet, and I still don’t think we have. Coming out here it’s (Clarke County’s) homecoming. We knew they would come out hype and ready to play. So we just had to overcome that.”