Chargers fall, but prep for playoffs

Published 12:08 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Central High School’s varsity football team closed its 2017 regular season Friday night with a 34-21 road loss to surging Nottoway High School.

In Region 1B, which features only six playoff-eligible varsity football teams, the Chargers (4-6) hold the No. 3 seed and will host No. 6 Cumberland County High School (0-10) in the regional playoffs Friday at 7 p.m.

The Chargers finished the regular season with two tough tests against opponents that each enter the postseason with 7-3 records. The Chargers fell 63-49 to visiting Amelia County High School on Oct. 20 and then returned from their bye week to face the Cougars, which had won six straight games after opening the year with three losses to outstanding opponents.

“We were a little bit overmatched here,” Central Head Coach Will Thomas said. “They beat us good in all phases of the game, I thought. (Their) offense was solid. They had a good rushing attack — big, strong, fast. And then the defense was flying around. We really didn’t move the ball very well, either, on them.”

Junior running back Dontae Crowder led the Chargers with 130 yards rushing on 24 carries, though Thomas said the Cougars had their backups in for one of the drives to which Crowder contributed.

“He had some good runs against their starters, but we didn’t stay with our blocks, didn’t finish our blocks — the running backs or the line,” Thomas said.

Sophomore running back T’zion Wilkerson had eight carries for 50 yards and two touchdowns, sophomore Darien Jones registered 10 carries for 30 yards and junior quarterback Jackson Dalton had eight carries for eight yards and a touchdown.

Central kicked off its four-game win streak during the regular season by defeating Cumberland 47-0 on Sept. 22. The Chargers will look to top the Dukes again.

“We watched the film from last week,” Thomas said. “It looked like they’re basically the same team we played … personnel-wise. I think they’re better. I think they’ve gotten better as the year has gone on, and they played Randolph-Henry tight. So, we’ll see. You never know. It’s a new season, and I’m sure they’ll be geared up to get their first win, and I just hope we don’t look past them.”