Prepping for regular season finale

Published 10:39 am Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Central High School’s varsity football team returns from its bye to compete in one last regular season contest before entering the postseason.

For their regular season finale Friday at 7 p.m., the Chargers will visit Nottoway High School to take on a Cougars team that has shared a similar trajectory to their own.

Central (4-5) lost its first four games of the season and then went on to win four of its next five. The Cougars (6-3) lost their first three games and have won everything since then.

In studying the Cougars on film, Chargers Head Coach Will Thomas said, “They’re just good, really playing well here towards the end. They started off slow and played some good teams too, but they’ve kind of got it going in the right direction, really playing tough.”

Nottoway’s first three opponents were Greensville County, Gretna and Goochland high schools, and they entered this week with a combined record of 23-4.

On offense, the Cougars tend to stay on the ground.

“They’re a running team, and they’re tough,” Thomas said. “They’re physical. They’re big, they’re strong, they’re fast, running backs run hard.”

He highlighted junior running back Devonte Booth and senior running back Jordan Coles, and he also praised the strength, aggressiveness and blocking of a couple of Cougar linemen, including senior Ahmir Crawley.

The coach said that Nottoway is well-coached on defense and extremely aggressive.

While the bye week was good for Central, it was not enough time for senior tight end/linebacker Ben Spencer and senior offensive/defensive lineman Jackson Parsons to fully heal.

Spencer has a sprained foot and Parsons has what Thomas described as “a bunch of nagging little injuries here and there.”

Both are key to the Chargers and will be limited.

Central is likely to host a Region 1B tournament playoff game Nov. 10, facing either Stonewall Jackson High School, of Quicksburg, or Cumberland County High School.