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Unbeaten Falcons face toughest test yet

Central enters Bull Run District schedule at home against young, vulnerable Clarke
Posted 2018-10-18 By Larry Beazley

    Central will enter Bull Run District football competition at home Friday against Clarke County. Until now, the Falcons have won four games against opponents outside the district and a fifth game by forfeit.

    Playing before a hometown crowd at Berryville a year ago, Clarke suffered a humiliating loss to Central, one of only two for the season.

    Since then, Clarke has lost 14 players to graduation, including its entire starting offensive and defensive lines. The Eagles finished the 2017 season with a 10-2 record, including the loss to Central.

    Clarke lost its first two games this season, but has since won three. A week ago, the Eagles beat Warren County, 31-29.

    Central, with loads of talent and experience, will be heavily favored to win this one. If Clarke is able to score it will have accomplished something none of Central’s four opponents this season have been able to do.

    The Falcons’ high-powered offense has scored 151 points in four games thus far, an average of nearly 38 per game, but its defense is yet to be scored upon.

    A week ago, Virginia’s most potent Division II high school offense was held scoreless in Woodstock, despite having reached the Central six-yard line. It was there that the Central defense dug in, forcing an errant field goal.

    As good as Central’s offense has been, its defense is likely even better.

    Clarke runs a single wing offense with all-region running back Peyton Rutherford whose career stats include more than 2,000 rushing yards, 31 rushing touchdowns and five passing receptions for touchdown.

    Clarke’s strong-armed quarterback, junior Colby Childs, is back from last season. Besides Rutherford, the Eagles’ backfield includes senior running back Kyle Baylor. The team’s best receiver is Trey Trenary.

    Clarke’s kicker, junior Nick Bahamorde, is healthy after missing half of last year due to injuries.

    If Clarke County has any hope of winning the Bull Run District championship, it must pull a major upset in Woodstock Friday.

    The Falcons are flying high, and left no doubt about their ambitions a week ago against previously unbeaten King William.

     Playing before a large homecoming crowd, the Falcons continue their march toward the playoffs with a tough but convincing win over the Cavaliers, 27-0.

    Coming into the game, the Cavaliers were No. 1 in scoring in Virginia Class II football, having scored 199 points or nearly 50 per game.

    The Cavaliers had defeated Prince Edward County, 72-6; Bruton High, 62-0; Essex, 30-6, and Washington & Lee, 35-12.

    After a scoreless first quarter, things went bad for King William against Central.

    Central coach Mike Yew described it as the turning point of the game. The Falcons’ defense stopped King William at the Central six-yard line. The Cavaliers would never again threaten to score.

    Quarterback Zeb Dyer had what coach Yew described as the “best game of his career.” According to Yew, Dyer was in total control of the offense, made the right decisions, knew when to run with the ball or to pass.  He scored on a 34-yard run and threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to his favored wide receiver Kyle Clanton.

    King William, Dyer later said, was  “keying on running back Shane Watson and forced us to adjust our play calling.”

    Clanton made a diving catch for a touchdown, had two other receptions on offense and two interceptions on defense.  Clanton threw the first touchdown pass of his career, but a penalty nullified the play.

    Of King William, Central’s all-region lineman Declan Franklin said, “They have grown up since last year’s game and were the toughest opponent we have played this season.”