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Chargers, Wildcats Remain Unbeaten in Football

Chantilly, Centreville set to hit the road this Friday night.

The Chantilly and Centreville High football teams remain unbeaten through four games.

The Chargers soundly defeated visiting W.T. Woodson last Friday night, 45-19. Meanwhile, Centreville, playing at home, won a barn-burner over visiting South County, 32-28.

Both of the local teams will be looking to make it five wins in a row this Friday night. The Chargers, who will play their next three

games on the road, will be at Hayfield.

Centreville, meanwhile, will travel to Mount Vernon.

Chantilly dominated Woodson from the start, scoring four first quarter touchdowns to take a commanding 28-0 lead.

On the night, Carson Romine, the Chantilly quarterback, passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more to lead the Chargers’ attack. Chantilly also benefitted from a running game that accumulated close to 200 yards, with Jimmy Hicks gaining 88 to lead the way. Hicks ran for a score and also caught an aerial for a touchdown.

Chantilly’s defense accounted for a touchdown – that coming on a 25-yard interception return by senior defensive back Devon Westerman.

Chantilly led at halftime, 42-6.

“I was extremely pleased with how the team executed both on defense and offense in the first half,” said Chantilly coach Mike Lalli. “We took care of the ball on offense and were opportunistic on defense with the interception return for a touchdown. The players played hard and took advantage of opportunities to make plays.”

Lalli realized going into the season the Chargers had potential to do big things this fall. He said the outstanding start is a result of good execution and hard work by his players.

“We expected to be competitive and felt like we had a good core of players that could make plays,” he said. “The players have taken ownership on becoming disciplined and trying to execute the scheme and game plans. Our goal each week is to come out and compete and do the best we can. If we do that the wins should take care themselves.”

Against Hayfield this Friday night, Chantilly is meeting a 2-2 team coming off a tough 17-16 loss to Yorktown.

“They are a disciplined team with a sound scheme both offensively and defensively,” said Lalli, of the Hawks. “They have some athletic ability they will challenge us on an individual level. We hope to continue doing what we have done and execute and take care of the ball and minimize our penalties. If we are able to do that then we are confident we can compete with Hayfield.”

<b>THE CENTREVILLE WILDCATS</b> received a huge game from running back Manny Smith in their come-from-behind win over South County. The junior rushed for 227 yards and two touchdowns on 39 carries.

“Manny Smith is the key,” said South County coach Pete Bendorf. “They are very patient and will give him the ball even if you slow them down. He is a strong kid that wears you down as the game goes on.”

Centreville improved to 4-0 under first year coach Chris Haddock.

“We are all very excited about the win last Friday night,” said Haddock. “South County is an excellent team with extraordinary athletes. Their record does not indicate what kind of team they have.”

South County (1-3) jumped out to a 14-6 lead after one quarter. But after three quarters they trailed, 18-14, before both teams scored a pair of touchdowns in a wild west fourth quarter scoring fest.

“Centreville has a nice squad this year,” said Bendorf. “They have limited their mistakes. They don’t turn the ball over.”

Centreville QB Chance Roman threw two touchdown passes – a 30-yard strike to Connor Coward, and a 57-yard hook-up to Ken Ekanem. The signal caller also ran for a score in the win.

South County, leading 14-6 in the first half, committed some costly turnovers that helped Centreville get back into the game.

“We are our own worst enemy,” said Bendorf. “We had two fumbles that we lost while protecting the lead.”

Other mistakes hurt the Stallions – their inability to convert a late game fourth-and-one play, costly penalties, and other mishaps.

South County scored two special teams touchdowns – a 50-yard punt return by Marcus Thomas, and an 80-yard kick return by Ryan Taylor. The Stallions’ defense also accounted for a score when Nicholas Hicks returned a fumble 21 yards to open the game’s scoring. But it was not enough.

“We made some special teams mistakes,” said Haddock. “However, South County had a lot to do with that. I was very proud of the way we handled the adversity of a few big plays. We gave up a fumble for a touchdown, a kickoff return for a touchdown and a punt return for a touchdown. On most nights any one of those things would have been devastating but our kids kept fighting, hung in there and never stopped believing we could win.”

The highlight on offense for South County was the strong ball carrying of running back Andrew Rector, who rushed for 204 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

“We are very up and down,” said Bendorf. “I can’t put my finger on it right now. The kids’ effort has been very good. We just need to continue to focus on getting better during the week.”

While Haddock is pleased with his team’s 4-0 start, he realizes there is a long season still ahead and much to accomplish.

“Starting 4-0 is great and our team and program needed this to gain confidence in what we do,” he said. “We also know that we have many difficult games ahead of us and we want to keep working on the little things it takes to get better.”

The coach was impressed with what he saw watching film of the Mount Vernon Majors – the Wildcats’ next opponent.

“They are another athletic team,” he said. “Watching them on film, they play very hard and have some weapons. We have played or scrimmaged three of the same opponents so that should help us gauge their team a bit. It is always a test to go on the road and play your best.”