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Sports


Mountaineers face tall climb against Central

Madison County finally winning, but Falcons will be a challenge
Posted 2017-10-19 By Larry Beazley

    Central’s football Falcons are expected to remain unbeaten Friday when they host improving Madison County.

    The Falcons claimed sole possession of No. 1 in the Bull Run District standings a week ago when they humiliated previously unbeaten Clarke County, 40-0 at Berryville.

    The Central win and Strasburg’s win on the road at previously undefeated George Mason High left the Falcons with the district’s only unblemished record.

    The Falcons will be big favorites to remain undefeated Friday.

    Madison County got off to a rough start, losing its first four games but have consecutive victories coming into the Central game.

    Junior quarterback Elijah Lewis is a threat whether running or passing. As Lewis drops back to pass, he looks for junior wide receivers Almus Davis and Michael Carpenter. If they are not open he will take off running the ball. He is talented at scrambling and gaining yards. Senior Jamar Turner and Lewis lead Madison’s running attack.

    Wide receiver and kicker senior Cameron Covington adds offense both with hands and legs.  At 6-2 he provides a target for Lewis and has converted 11 of 13 extra points this season.

    Madison’s offensive and defensive lines are built around senior Michael Jones (6-2,199), and Junior William Graves (6-1, 187).  The Mountaineers are padded in the middle with junior Trejah Hughes (6-0, 316) and sophomore Gabe leathers (6-2, 267), adding Jamar Turner as their favored linebacker.

    Christian Rosado has returned a kickoff for a touchdown this season, while also performing in the defensive backfield.

    Central can match Madison County in size, with the advantage of heightened speed and experience.

     With Zeb Dyer at quarterback and receivers Kyle Clanton and Varsey Bright (both are good defensive backs), and the running game of juniors Shane Watson, Hunter Mullins and Zach Adams the Falcons will be a challenge for the Mountaineers.     

    Capitalizing on Clarke County turnovers, Central scored early and often at Berryville a week ago to ruin the Eagles’ homecoming, 40-0.

    Entering the game, Clarke and Central were two of three unbeatens in the Bull Run District. When it was over, there was no doubt that Central is the district’s dominant team.

    The Falcons jumped out to an early lead when speedy back Kyle Clanton swept into the end zone from 14 yards out. It would be the first of three touchdowns for the evening for Clanton. Reliable Andrew Miller kicked the PAT to give Central a 7-0 lead.

    Clanton intercepted a Clarke pass with eight minutes left before the half, and two minutes later Brian Davis carried the ball over the goal line. An attempted two-point conversion failed.

    Turnovers continued to plague Clarke before the break. Central’s Miller recovered a fumble at the Clarke 34 yard line at the five minute mark of the second period, and Falcons’ quarterback Zeb Dyer found Davis on a 15-yard scoring strike to put Central up 25-0. Miller added the PAT and by then Clarke’s homecoming crowd had been quieted.

    Central took a 26-0 lead into the locker room.

    The Falcons’ Zack Abrams scored from 10 yards out to open the third period and Miller again booted the PAT to build Central’s lead to 33-0 with 10 minutes left in the third.

    Four minutes into the final period, Dyer again found Clanton open from seven yards out for yet another TD. Miller’s point-after settled it, 40-0.

    The Falcons had easily dispatched their first five opponents, all non-conference teams.

    Until Friday, Clarke’s power rating among schools its size was No. 1. Central was No. 5. That’s certain to change.