Central runs over Randolph-Henry

Published 11:27 am Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Central High School varsity football team used impressive defense and continued strength in its run game to defeat visiting Randolph-Henry High School 35-10 on Friday night.

“I thought our defense played pretty well,” Chargers Head Coach Will Thomas said. “I think that’s the lowest total Randolph-Henry’s scored all year.”

The Statesmen (0-3) scored 18 points in their season opener and 19 points in their second game.

Central grabbed a 7-0 lead Friday after Dashawn Moore ran six yards for a touchdown. Randolph-Henry tied things up after a 9-yard touchdown run by Tyrie Blow-Tydings.

The Chargers never relinquished the lead after they went up 14-7 on a 3-yard run by Malik Foster in the first quarter.

Foster, who will help bolster Central’s run game after being the third-leading running back on the team last year, was limited but effective Friday as he returns to full health.

“He may have played five or six offensive plays,” Thomas said.

The Statesmen came within four points of the Chargers in the second quarter when John Walker hit a 27-yard field goal, but Central responded with an 18-yard touchdown run by Keenan Anunay that helped make the score 21-10 at halftime.

“We didn’t give up any points in the second half, which is great,” Thomas said.

The Chargers went up 28-10 in the third quarter after Malcolm Brown scored on a 4-yard touchdown run.

In the fourth quarter, Central got its last touchdown on a 42-yard fumble return by Ben Spencer after the ball was knocked loose by Quazale Jones.

Thomas praised the performance of his defensive line, as well as his defensive backs, which include Anunay, Tylik Thomas, who had an interception, and John McGrath.

“We were better on third-and-long this week,” the coach said.

Raymond Alexander led the Chargers defense with 18 tackles, Chris Fowler had 12 and Tylik Thomas added 11.

“Raymond’s pretty good,” Coach Thomas said of the senior outside linebacker/tight end. “He’s probably our best defensive player right now.”

Central generated 247 yards of total offense, all which came on the ground. Moore had 23 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown, Brown had 17 carries for 98 yards and a score and Anunay gained 30 yards and a touchdown on four carries.

“It was a physical ball game,” Randolph-Henry Head Coach Mark McPherson said. “They run the ball, and they run right at you.”

In light of his team’s success on the ground, Coach Thomas said, “Our offensive line played pretty well again,” highlighting Kester Long, Garrett Williams, Jackson Parsons and Alexander.

The Chargers have not been very active in the passing game so far this year. Thomas noted the team had senior Josh Paynter last year, but this year, Central is young at quarterback. That part of the offense is in development, though.

“We’re going to have to throw the ball eventually,” the coach said.

Next up on the schedule for the Chargers (2-1) is a road game against Prince Edward County High School (1-2) on Friday.

“It looks like Prince Edward’s defense is vastly improved from the last couple years that we’ve played them,” Thomas said, adding that it looks big and strong. “They’re pretty balanced on offense.”

Highlighting the Eagles’ athletes, like running back Aneal Walker, Thomas said, “We’re going to have our work cut out for us. It’s going to be tough.”

He is hoping for a good complete game from his team.

“We haven’t really put a game together yet where we played good in all phases,” he said, even in the wins.

Though the defense was good against the Statesmen, Thomas said he did not think the offense was completely in sync, and while the offense was good against William Campbell High School, the defense struggled.

This leaves the door open for opponents to make a comeback.

“We don’t put teams away, which I think is dangerous,” Thomas said. “I wish we could do that a little bit better.”

The Chargers will get their next chance starting at 7 p.m. on Friday.