QUICKSBURG – Central’s 42-0 non-district football victory over Stonewall Jackson on Friday night had a bizarre start and ending, but the Falcons accomplished what they wanted to.
The game was played without lights and a scoreboard to start the game due to a power outage. The power came back on with about 7 minutes left in the first quarter. However, the field lights went out again in the second quarter. The two teams decided they would play until halftime, but lightning in the area forced the game to be stopped with 4:24 left in the first half.
Central coach Mike Yew said he’s never experienced anything like that in a regular season contest. Yew said that he was pleased with the way the team played.
“We did what we were supposed to do,” Yew said. “Our kids got off of the ball. We played well. We got after it on defense. The secondary played well. We had a couple turnovers in our favor. I’m very happy with all of that.”
Back-to-back sacks by Central’s Grayson Manning and Christian Spitler forced a three-and-out for the Generals.
The Falcons needed only one play to score. Central senior quarterback Zeb Dyer connected with classmate Kyle Clanton for a 63-yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the contest.
“ I saw him come open across the middle and there’s not many people that can keep up with him,” Dyer said. “So I just put it out there and let him run to it.”
Central leaned on the running game on the Falcons’ next drive. The Falcons ran the ball six times for 55 yards with junior Chris Connor scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run to cap off the drive.
A 28-yard pass from Dyer to Spitler helped set-up a Hunter Mullins 3-yard touchdown run and a 21-0 edge with 39 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Dyer was 3-for-3 for 111 yards, all in the first quarter. The Falcons ran the ball a lot in their season-opening win over Skyline and Yew said he wanted to throw the ball a little more against the Generals (0-2).
“We got to be able to throw the ball as we move on in the season,” Yew said. “And last week we threw it seven times. We wanted to throw the ball. We weren’t worried about the home-run ball as much as we just wanted to get some timing routes and some quick outs down and some things like that.”
The Falcons (2-0) ended the game with a flurry of touchdowns, scoring 21 points in just a little over two minutes.
Central junior Noah Williams scored on a 6-yard touchdown run with 6:55 left in the half. On Stonewall Jackson’s next possession, Clanton intercepted a pass by Stonewall Jackson quarterback Logan Ritchie and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown. The reigning two-time Class 2 state champion in sprints in track and field weaved in and out of defenders until he made it across the field and raced down the sideline for the score.
“I just saw it was a pass, I got in my pass protection,” Clanton said. “I got defensive coach (Rowdy) Hoover as a coach so he taught me everything I know. I got over top at safety and so I just looked for the ball. And did my thing after I caught it.”
After Central recovered a Stonewall Jackson fumble, Williams scored on a 35-yard touchdown run with 4:24 left in the half. Then the lightning came and the game was halted.
Williams led Central’s ground game with 85 yards on eight carries.
“Noah was hurt. He had a knee injury. He just got back healthy,” Yew said. “This week he had some practice under his belt. And you can tell he’s still kind of a step off with what he’s doing. But certainly there was a bright side to what he did tonight and he made some big runs.”
Central held Stonewall Jackson to minus-3 total yards and no first downs in the game.
Stonewall Jackson coach Pete Lampman said there were some positives he saw from his squad despite the lopsided score.
“I think we actually tackled decently at times,” Lampman said. “We hustled. We covered punts well. Special teams were OK. We got things that we can build on and we’re going to go forward and build on them. This program is headed in the right direction. It doesn’t always look like it, but believe me, it’s headed in the right direction.”
The Falcons finished the game with 321 total yards, including 188 on the ground. Central will now have two weeks off. Next week will be a bye week, and the following week the Falcons will be credited with a win by forfeit due to Park View canceling its season. Central will play at home on Sept. 21 against Brentsville.
Yew said the biggest thing he wants his team to do is to get healthy over the next two weeks.
“We got some things in place,” Yew said of the plans for the next two weeks. “We’re going to do some things with the (junior varsity) and varsity together. It’s an opportunity to teach, especially for our young kids. And the other side of the coin is hopefully now we’ll be completely healthy by the time we play Brenstville. We got two more kids coming back that were out (Friday). So we’re excited about the possibility of being completely healthy in two weeks.”