Falcons blast Mountaineers to remain unbeaten

WOODSTOCK – If there were any concerns surrounding Central High School’s football team suffering a letdown against visiting Madison County on Friday night, the Falcons erased them less than a minute into the game.

A quick defensive three-and-out and Varsey Bright’s punt return for a touchdown set in motion yet another blowout win for the Falcons, who blasted Madison County 77-0 to improve to 7-0 overall and 2-0 in the Bull Run District.

Central set a new school record for points in the a game in the victory, topping the 75 the Falcons put up against Park View (Sterling) on Sept. 15.

“Coach (Mike) Yew’s been telling us to not have a letdown,” Falcons junior receiver/cornerback Nick Houghton said. “He said when you’re at the top of the mountain everybody’s gonna aim for you, so when you’re up there you’ve just gotta keep your ground. That’s what we tried do and that’s what we did today.”

Central is beating teams by an average margin of 49.6 points this season, and Friday’s contest was as lopsided as they come. The Falcons churned out 464 yards of offense, including 417 on the ground, and held the Mountaineers (2-4, 0-1 Bull Run) to 36 yards. Twenty-nine of Madison County’s yards came on the final possession of the game.

Central also forced four turnovers, had two sacks and allowed only three offensive plays of 10 yards or more.

“I know I’ve said it a couple times this year, I thought we played very well in all facets of the game,” Yew said.

“I think when you look back at it, I think from all aspects – special teams, offense and defense – it was a very good night for Central football again.”

The Falcons, who passed the ball just three times in the win and began mixing in its backups as early as midway through the second quarter, ran at will on Madison County. Central averaged 10.4 yards per rush, had six players run for at least 35 yards and scored nine rushing touchdowns with six different players.

Junior running back Shane Watson led all Falcon rushers with nine carries for 148 yards and three touchdowns.

“I was really impressed with how good (the offensive line) did today,” said Watson, who averaged 16.4 yards per carry. “Big holes. We had great runs. They held up for passes, runs. … They did a pretty outstanding job tonight.”

Watson had three runs for 30 yards or more, and the Falcons as a team combined for seven such runs in the rout.

“It’s a great feeling inside, the adrenaline running, and you hear the crowd just screaming,” Watson said. “It’s a great feeling.”

Bright sent the home side of the scoreboard on its rapid ascension in the game’s opening minute when he scooped up a Madison punt on a bounce and raced down the sideline for a 42-yard return for a score.

Central marched 63 yards on six plays on its first offensive possession – capping the drive with a 6-yard Watson touchdown run – before Houghton stepped in front of a third-down pass into the flat from Madison quarterback Elijah Lewis and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown.

Houghton’s pick-six, the first of his varsity career, gave Central a 21-0 lead with 5:55 left in the first quarter.

“In the coverage we had, I was supposed to have the flats, so when the running back went out I just went up on it and I caught it. I kind of froze and kind of panicked for a second,” Houghton said with a laugh. “Then I just started running and happened to get in.”

A second Lewis interception on Madison’s next drive – this one snagged by Zach Abrams – set up Kyle Clanton’s 10-yard touchdown run on an end-around. Falcons QB Zeb Dyer showed off his arm and his legs on Central’s next possession when he hit Bright for 36 yards – his only pass attempt of the game – and ran for a 41-yard touchdown run that put the Falcons up 35-0 late in the first quarter.

Fullback Bryan Davis added a 35-yard scoring run on the Falcons’ next offensive play and Watson’s second touchdown run gave Central a 49-0 lead heading into halftime.

Chris Conner had touchdown runs of 19 and 30 yards in the second half and Abrams added a 19-yard score.

Mason Marston, who picked off a pass in the second half, rushed six times for 65 yards, while Hunter Mullins had 8 carries for 60 yards.

“I am the biggest warrior as far as are we ready to play, and did we have a great week of preparation, all that good stuff,” Yew said. “I never know what to expect. Our kids came out and responded. They made me look good. They played hard, they played physical and they got after it early.”

Central returns to action with a home game against George Mason this Friday.