High School Football: After win, Central High moves up the rankings

Published 2:28 am Tuesday, October 17, 2023

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With the playoffs upon us and just a few weeks away, the Central High Chargers picked a great time to have their best offensive showing to date in 2023, cruising to a 69-32 victory at James River District rival Nottoway.

Offensively, the Chargers piled up 628 yards and on 41 plays, ten of which resulted in touchdowns.  They averaged over 15 yards per play and didn’t commit a single turnover on a night where they improved to 7-1 overall, 3-1 in district action.

“I live in Nottoway and so does my Athletic Director, who’s my defensive coordinator (Wallace Owen), so it’s always good to beat them.  If I lose, the folks at church on Sunday give me a hard time,” said Central High coach Will Thomas.

Starring in the running clock win was senior Connor Mattox, who put forth another monster performance with 276 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 20 carries to go with two catches for 46 yards and a couple more scores.  Defensively, he was also in on 14 total tackles, two behind the line of scrimmage.

But it was one play near half-time that shined over them all.  Following Amarion Moore’s interception return to the Nottoway 40-yard line with ten seconds to go in the second quarter, Mattox was the target for the final play of the half.  

“He catches it like three yards out of the backfield and did the rest himself and went the distance.  It was an insane play and really impressive,” Thomas noted.  “To see somebody that big at 215 pounds and that fast to hit another gear, it’s special,” noted Thomas, still hoping to see improvement on the other side of the football before the postseason arrives in November.

Central High moves up

Thomas saw more positives and negatives from Friday’s game.

“Connor had a pretty good night and so too did Amarion,” Thomas said. “Some other kids also stepped in and picked up the slack.  We didn’t play very well defensively, which has been a thing for us at times this year and stopped tackling well.  We’ve struggled with big backs like Altavista, Prince Edward and this game.  We have to go to the drawing board and figure that out.  You want to win, but you also want to play well.”

Moore ran for 222 yards and 3 TD’s on 13 rushes to go with an interception on defense.  From the quarterback spot, sophomore Reece Hart had another efficient night.  All three of Hart’s completions went for touchdowns, totaling 53 yards.  Seth Bishop was the leading tackler on defense with 16 total stops, six of the solo variety, with two for losses.

Central High did see one of its key players go down during the contest as senior running back / defensive back Thomias Morrison suffered a collarbone injury early in the first period and did not return.  His status is uncertain moving forward.

“Hopefully, we’ll get some good news,” Thomas said.

Now second in the Region 2A power ratings to Poquoson, the Chargers get set to host Cumberland on October 20th at Charger Stadium.