Chargers top Cougars in OT thriller

Published 11:13 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Central High School’s varsity football team concluded its 2018 regular season Saturday night with a dramatic 21-20 overtime home victory over its longtime rival Nottoway High School.

The Chargers took a 14-0 lead, but the Cougars came back to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Central scored and senior kicker/safety Earl Ginn hit the extra point to give the Chargers a 21-14 lead.

Nottoway also scored a touchdown, but Central senior defensive end Jackson Dalton blocked the extra-point attempt to immediately give his team the win and secure a winning season.

“We all made it a little interesting, probably more interesting than it needed it to be, but I guess both us and Nottoway gave the fans a good show,” Chargers Head Coach Will Thomas said. “So hopefully everybody came away entertained, but it’s always better to get the win, you know? When you can entertain people, have a good game and you get a hard-fought win, it feels a lot better.”

Thomas was very clear on what the key to victory was for his squad.

“Our defensive line just destroyed their offensive line,” he said. Referring to the storied rivlary between the teams, he added, “I’ve been a part of this thing as a head coach for 11 years, assistant coach for four years, a player for four years, and I don’t ever remember our defensive line dominating Nottoway’s offensive line the way we did.”

When considering individual credit for this feat, “You’ve got to give hats off to (Kawonte) Ragsdale, Garrett Williams, Dawson Bishop and (Daquan) Lee,” Thomas said.

The Cougars did adapt their game plan.

“Nottoway started passing on us and took advantage of us, which is a good move by Nottoway,” Thomas said. “I thought we moved the ball very well on Nottoway, which we haven’t in the past.”

However, Central did uncharacteristically struggle with turnovers, giving up three fumbles.

Leading the Chargers on offense was T’zion Wilkerson, rushing for 104 yards and a touchdown. Dalton threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Trey Patterson III. Ben Anthony ran for a touchdown. Khalil Wood had 13 carries for 97 yards, Darien Jones had 12 carries for 43 yards and Lee had eight carries for 41 yards.

Among the leaders on defense were Geontra Ragsdale with 14 tackles, and Jones and Ginn with 12 apiece.

No. 3 Central (6-4) hosts No. 6 Cumberland County High School (0-10) in the first round of the Region 1B tournament on Thursday at 7 p.m.