By Randy Arrington
WOODSTOCK, Oct. 7 — Only a handful of undefeated teams are still standing in Virginia’s Class 2…and now there is one team standing tall in Region B. In a battle between two unbeatens in the area, the Bulldogs of Luray found a way to pull away from the Falcons of Central in a huge, 41-25, Bull Run District win.
The Bulldogs remain perfect on the season and move to 6-0. Going into Friday night’s huge Bull Run matchup, there were eight undefeated squads remaining in Virginia’s Class 2, according to MaxPreps.com. Six teams from the Bull Run District stand among the Top 25, including three in the Top 5. Luray was ranked No. 3 in Virginia, while Strasburg was fourth and Central fifth.
On Friday night in Woodstock — in a game that featured three successful onside kicks — the Bulldogs continued to win with a traditional ground game that accumulated 330 yards through the balanced attack of running backs Brady Jenkins and Kenny Frye. The senior duo accumulated 228 yards on the ground. Jenkins ran for 115 yards on 19 carries, while Frye had 113 yards on 15 carries. Their yardage for each half was almost identical. However, Jenkins would finish the night with three scores, including one through the air, while Frye found the end zone once.
Luray took the opening drive 76 yards in eight plays that took just 3:17 off the clock, capped off by a 12-yard run from Jenkins as the Bulldogs took the early 7-0 lead.
Central would answer right back with a grinding 17-play drive that consumed almost nine minutes, ending with a one-yard touchdown plunge by junior standout Tyler Forbes. A failed two-point attempt due to a bad snap left the score at 7-6 after the first play of the second quarter.
On their second possession, Luray dialed up more of the same as Jenkins and Frye carried the offense 80 yards down the field on 12 plays in just 4:57. Jenkins again capped off the drive, this time with a 4-yard run, putting the Bulldogs back in the lead. Junior quarterback Ryder Liscomb ran in a two-point conversion to put Luray up 15-7 with seven minutes left in the half.
The Bulldogs then caught the Falcons off guard with the first of two onside kicks, recovered by sophomore Drayvin Stevens. It only took Luray five plays to score this time, going 48 yards and capped off by a 2-yard run by Frye. After scoring twice in under three minutes, Luray lead 22-6 with 4:34 left in the half.
Central would take advantage of Luray penalties and the strong running of Forbes on only their second possession of the first half. The Falcons handed Forbes the ball on seven of nine plays that it took to travel 79 yards over the remainder of the second quarter. Forbes found the end zone from one-yard out with 55 seconds remaining before halftime. All three first-half penalties that Luray drew were on this drive, including on the two-point attempt. On a second try, Forbes converted for two points, making the score 22-14 at the half.
Central senior Cully Neese took the opening kickoff of the second half to the Luray 23-yard line. However, after having first-and-goal at the three, penalties and a tough Luray defense pushed the ball back and forced a fourth-and-goal from the 22. The Falcons opted for 39-yard field goal by senior Luc Retrosi, making the score 22-17.
Luray then did the exact same thing they had done on three drives in the first half, run Jenkins and Frye all the way to the end zone. Liscomb dove in from one-yard out, capping off an 80-yard, 12-play drive that took 5:13 off the clock. A missed PAT left the score at 28-17.
Again Luray caught Central off-balance with their second successful onside kick of the night, this time recovered by Liscomb. With the help of a face mask call, it would only take three plays for the Bulldogs to reach the end zone again. This time through the air as Jenkins caught a 5-yard pass from Liscomb for the touchdown. Luray only passed once in each half, with the earlier attempt unsuccessful. After another unsuccessful PAT, Luray lead 34-17 in the final minute of the third quarter.
Central took nearly five minutes to drive 68 yards for its final score in the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterback NicK Barahona scored from six yards out, and Forbes ran in a two-point conversion to make the score 34-25.
The Falcons then flipped the script and executed a successful onside kick against Luray. The drive opened with a 31-yard reception by senior Ben Walters that took the ball to the Luray 13, but again the Luray defense stiffened up and recorded three consecutive tackles for loss. Central faced a fourth-and-24 when a long, desperate pass was picked off by Stevens who sprinted 80 yards to the end zone for a pick six.
It would prove to be the final points of the game, as Central went four-and-out to turn the ball over on downs. Luray then picked up one first down before running out the clock in the victory formation.
Luray posted 335 yards of offense on the night, compared to 225 for Central. Jenkins continues to lead the Bull Run District in rushing with a season total of 730 yards on 82 carries (8.9 yards per carry), with 10 touchdowns. Through six games, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 266 to 81 — averaging 44.3 points per game, while allowing only 13.5 points per game.
Next up, the Bulldogs (6-0) will host East Rockingham at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14. The PVN Sports crew will be on hand to provide commentary for the NFHS livestream. The Eagles head into the game after a win at home over Page County Friday night.
Central (6-1) will travel to Front Royal for a non-district matchup with Skyline next Friday before getting a week off. They close the season with only one more Bull Run game when they host Strasburg on Nov. 4. Luray still faces district matchups with East Rock, Strasburg, Clarke and Madison.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.