Chargers achieve historic 87-46 win

Published 2:43 pm Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Central High School’s varsity football team was in an offensive slugfest with Prince Edward County High School during the Eagles’ homecoming night Friday, but then the Chargers made some defensive stops and their offense kept going en route to an incredible and unprecedented 87-46 victory.

“I tell you what, man, it was crazy,” Central Head Coach Will Thomas said of the point tally.

Wallace Owen, Central’s athletic director, said, “I believe 87 is a new school record, the previous record being 80 against Goochland years ago.”

The Chargers also racked up an astounding 612 yards and 11 touchdowns on 60 carries.

“I was just figuring, I said, ‘They’re going to eventually stop us,’” Thomas said. “And it wasn’t easy (to score), man. It was hard.”

The Chargers had pulled ahead by several touchdowns, but then the Eagles, no strangers to high-scoring games, mounted a comeback and drew within five points of the lead, 44-40, in a marathon third quarter.

“It was a time there where I thought we were going to have to score 87 just to win the ballgame, because that third quarter was the longest in the history of the world,” Thomas said.

Central’s offense was fueled by great execution up front and strong running from sophomore T’zion Wilkerson and junior Dontae Crowder. Wilkerson carried the ball 23 times for 264 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions. Crowder had 20 carries for 210 yards, four touchdowns and four two-point conversions. It was only the second time in school history that Central has had two varsity runners run for 200 yards or more in a single game as Crowder and Wilkerson achieved it once earlier this season as well.

Sophomore Darien Jones gained 78 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, junior Jackson Dalton had three rushes for 10 yards and two scores, sophomore Ben Anthony ran for a 45-yard touchdown and sophomore Khalil Wood had one carry for five yards.

James Ford, head coach of the Eagles (4-3), made a point to give credit to the Chargers offense.

“They ran their stuff,” he said. “We knew what they were running. Everyone in the stands knew what they were running, and they executed. And hats off to them. They beat us up front, and those backs, they found holes, and we came up short.”

Reflecting on the game overall, Thomas said, “You feel good about the offense. You don’t feel good about the defense. We didn’t play well again. Ben Spencer being out on defense hurt us. He kind of keeps us all together over there.”

Spencer, a senior, sprained his foot and did not practice this past week.

“So we kind of put him on offense, just left him on offense, because he’s our starting tight end,” Thomas said. “So, we just did offense with him because he means a lot to us here, and we were a little bit out of sorts.”

The coach made it clear, though, that the lack of Spencer is not the sole reason the Eagles were able to score 46 points.

“Those guys can score,” he said. “They’re just fast, and we’re not.”

What helped Central begin to pull away was a turnover by Prince Edward that halted the Eagles’ momentum and put the ball back in the possession of the Chargers’ potent offense.

“We got a turnover, and that was huge,” Thomas said. Later in the second half, “I think they got a little tired, and you know how that momentum goes. You get a little tired, and then when you’re losing, you get tired faster.”

With this victory, Central has now won four games in a row after starting the season 0-4.

Of the turnaround, Thomas said, “You’re happy, but then you’re thinking, man, we’ve got to do better. … Eventually, we’re going to play better defenses. Amelia’s defense is better.”

The Chargers (4-4) host Amelia County High School (6-1) on Friday at 7 p.m.

“They’re going to throw the ball,” Thomas said of the Raiders. “They’ve got a kid that can throw it. They’ve got receivers that can go get it. They’re tough. They’re really tough. And here on out, it’s going to be tough.”