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Sports


Secondary play key for Central


Posted 2018-11-13

    Central is a team built on speed, talent and experience. Seventeen players returned to the roster from the 2017 season when the Falcons went undefeated through a 10-game schedule.

    The offensive leader of that team was quarterback Zeb Dyer, now a senior. Dyer’s pass completion rate is better than 50 percent, and 10 of them have gone for touchdowns this season.

    Dyer has plenty of targets, but his favorite is Kyle Clanton, who holds most of Central’s track records in speed events.

    Clanton lines up in the Central offensive backfield and returns punts and kickoffs. On defense, he typically is the first Falcon downfield on kick-offs and punts, usually arriving before receivers catch the ball.

    Clanton this season has scored 18 touchdowns, eight on pass receptions, four on running plays, four on pass receptions, one on a 99-yard kick-off return and another a 65-yard punt return.

    The Falcons’ workhorse is running back Shane Watson who has carried the ball more than 100 times and gaining close to 750 yards, scoring seven touchdowns.

    Hunter Mullins at fullback and Noah Williams at running back add to the Falcons’ running attack.

    The Central lines are loaded with experience. Senior center Grayson Manning, two-way lineman Declan Franklin, Jacob France, Ezra Smith, Zach Helmick and junior Camden Zirk open holes for runners and provide protection for the passing game.  Those and defense lineman Neddy Portillo have played football at Central for years.

    Linebackers are Zach Abrams, Billy Ball, Isaiah Dyer, Andrew Daugherty, Mullins and Spitler.

    Clanton, Nick Houghton, Landon Shockey and Kamren Wells lead the secondary.

    The Central defense has given up just 78 points this season, but has struggled through the four most recent games after holding four of the first five opponents scoreless.