Central High School football returned to scrimmage action on Friday, August 2, for a home matchup against Stewarts Creek. Strong offensive play put the Red Raiders up early, but the Redhawks battled back to defeat CHS 20-10.
"I was pleased with our effort, the guys played hard," Coach Doug Greene said. "When we decided we wanted to run right at them, we were very effective."
The Raiders went up early after a long run from Marshall Haney was capped off by another run into the endzone. Stewarts Creek responded on their first possession, but a blocked field goal attempt held the lead for CHS at 7-6.
After a 31-yard field goal put the Raiders ahead 10-6, the Redhawks responded on their next 10-play offensive set to score two more touchdowns. CHS was unable to add any more, but did block a Stewarts Creek extra point.
On the CHS offense, players such as Haney, Collin Ward and C.J. Anthony were able to make big gains on both the run and passing game. Quarterback Conner Shemwell was able to complete multiple passes, with Greene adding that pass protection was also an area of strength.
"Our pass protection overall was actually better than I'd hoped," Greene explained. "Our counter was working really well. Marshall was running it, but it was blocked tremendously. We really did a good job of blocking down."
Quarterback Matthew Pittman came in for some plays as well. Pittman, who was injured last season, is planned to move back into the offense more as he continues to recover. Greene said the combination of Shemwell and Pittman could make for a dynamic offense this season.
"We've got two quarterbacks that actually have two separate strong suits," Greene said. "Which makes it hard for people to plan for us."
On the defensive end, Greene commended the effort and said that they played hard. He added that tackling was an area that still needed some work.
"Right now, our eyes are everywhere, we're not consistently looking at our keys and getting to the second read," Greene said. "But again, that's what the next couple weeks will be about, getting that cleaned up."