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Central at Clarke could decide Bull Run title

Posted 2017-10-12

    Central’s football Falcons face their first real challenge of the season Friday when they travel to Berryville to play the undefeated Clarke County Eagles with the Bull Run District title on the line.

    The Eagles ran their record to 6-0 a week ago, defeating Warren County, 29-21.

    Quarterback Coley Childs and running back Peyton Rutherford have made the transition from junior varsity to varsity without skipping a beat.

     It is fortunate for the Eagles’ young backfield to have an experienced line, led by Bryan Wallace, a first team 2A All-State selection, and seniors Kyle Anderson, Pete Mclean, Nate Bond and Jacob Peace, the 6-7, 300-pound blocking tackle.

    Wallace, also the anchor for the Eagles’ defense, is a two-time 2A East Region Defensive Player of the year.

     Coached by Chris Parker, Clarke has a defense known for playing a physical game. Its size and strength wears opponents down.

    Last year, the Eagles went deep into the playoffs and had a 10-3 record.  During the Bull Run District season, their only loss came against the Falcons, 22-21 in Woodstock. The Eagles hope to avenge that loss Friday.

    The Falcons need a win again Friday to ensure a deep run into the post season.

    Both the Eagles and the Falcons are loaded with talent, especially at the skilled positions.

    Central junior quarterback Zeb Dyer is having an outstanding season connecting with speedy wide receivers Kyle Clanton and Varsey Bright on long touchdown passes.  Central’s speed is certain to be a factor Friday.

    Running back Shane Watson has become Central’s primary running threat, but the Falcons have a host of runners available at any time.

    Central’s line is big and long on experience. Declan Franklin, Connor Funk, Ezra Smith and Grayson Manning, all provide protection for their quarterback and open holes for running backs.

    The Falcons’ defense is strong up front with Zach Abrams and Christian Spitler anchoring the linebackers, while Clanton and Bright bring speed to the defensive backfield.

    Entering the game, Central and Clarke are tied atop the Bull Run District standings as unbeaten teams. That will change Friday.

    Central jumped out to an early lead Friday then coasted to its fifth victory of the season over King William, 52-16.

  The Falcons set the tone early when quarterback Zeb Dyer connected with speedster Kyle Clanton on a 42-yard strike. Andrew Miller booted the first of seven PATs for the night to put Central up, 7-0.

Shane Watson scored from nine yards out to put Central up, 14-0, and Dyer found Varsey Bright on a 40-yard pass to give the Falcons a 21-0 advantage after one.

  Central continued its assault on the King William defense in the second period, scoring three more times before the half. Hunter Millins ran in from 27 yards, Watson scored from 52 yards out and Clanton pulled down a Dyer pass and scampered for 60 yards to the end zone.

  To add insult to injury, Miller kicked a 33-yard field goal. Central led it, 45-8 at the half.

  Each team would score just one touchdown in the second half. Dyer found Bright for a 38-yard TD in the third period. By then, Central had emptied its bench.