Central football takes down Buckingham

Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Central High School varsity football team started slow Friday night against visiting Buckingham County High School, but that did not last for long. The Chargers opened up a big lead in the second quarter and proceeded to claim a 41-12 victory, only their third win against the Knights since 2006.

“It’s always good to beat those guys,” Central Head Coach Will Thomas said. “We’ve had some really close games with them if you look at the scores from years past, but it just seems we’ve always been on the wrong end.”

Last year’s meeting was different, though, as a dominant Buckingham squad made the most of its homecoming game with a 70-27 rout of the Chargers.

Since then, the Knights have experienced big changes with the retirement and passing of Head Coach Craig Gill and the graduation of key players. Nevertheless, Thomas noted they have still been putting up a lot of points this season, even if they have only one win.

Buckingham defeated Nottoway High School 46-33 on Sept. 16 and fell 56-52 to William Campbell High School on Sept. 9.

“We were concerned how we were going to do against them, how we were going to stop them, and we played well,” Thomas said. “I was excited.”

This strong defensive performance was one of the keys to Central claiming its first victory over the Knights since 2012.

“Quazale Jones played really well, defensively,” Thomas said, as Jones led the Chargers with 14 tackles.

Ben Spencer added 12 tackles, and Dion Graham recorded 10.

“Keenan Anunay had a really good game, defensively, too,” Thomas said. “He had three interceptions.”

Another key to the win was Central’s ability to move the football on offense. The Chargers registered 473 yards of total offense, with 422 of them coming through the running game.

“Malik Foster played really well,” Thomas said. “He had a really good game — a couple long runs, long pass.”

Foster had 22 carries for 234 yards and three touchdowns. He also went 1-for-1 passing for a 51-yard touchdown pass to Tylik Thomas.

The Central run game was also bolstered by Dashawn Moore’s 165 yards with a touchdown on 22 carries.

In the second quarter, Foster scored on runs of 2 and 52 yards, along with throwing the touchdown pass to Thomas. Anunay also produced a 4-yard touchdown run.

The Chargers did not score again until the fourth quarter when Moore found the end zone at the end of a 56-yard run.

Foster was the last to score for Central, running 41 yards for a touchdown.

Ben Atkins hit five out of six of his extra-point attempts.

The Chargers (4-1) now turn their attention to Nottoway High School. The Cougars host Central on Friday at 7 p.m.

“It’s going to be a hard-fought game, I can tell you that,” Coach Thomas said. “They’re ready to go, got a lot of athletes on the field, a lot of good players, good coaching staff.”

He said Nottoway’s quarterback throws quite well, and he has some good, fast and athletic receivers to work with. They are all aided by a big offensive line.