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Central preparing to host Stuarts Draft for Region 2B Championship

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 4:37 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Two of the best high school football teams in the Shenandoah Valley will square off Friday night for the Region 2B Championship.

Top-seeded Central is preparing to host No. 2 seed Stuarts Draft. The Falcons advanced to the region title game with playoff wins over Madison County and Strasburg while the Cougars have postseason victories over Luray and Clarke County.

Although Central is the No. 1 seed and the home team, the Falcons will be tasked with knocking off a Stuarts Draft program that has won the last two Region 2B Championships and finished as VHSL Class 2 state runner-up in each of the last two seasons.

“We’ve just gotta get people to the football,” said Central head coach Mike Yew. “We’ve gotta be as aggressive as they are. They don’t leave any stones unturned. They fly to the football and they get a lot of people to the point of attack and we’ve gotta be the same way. Obviously, we don’t want to commit turnovers. Limiting turnovers is always a big part of the game. So tackle well, get helmets on helmets, and limit turnovers.”

Stuarts Draft features one of the best players in the area in running back Aaron Nice. He broke Draft’s all-time touchdown record when he scored his 71st career TD in the regional semifinal win over Clarke County. Nice is also a standout linebacker on defense. He has an NCAA Division I offer from Georgetown.

Stuarts Draft running back Aaron Nice is one of the best players in the Shenandoah Valley.
Stuarts Draft running back Aaron Nice is one of the best players in the Shenandoah Valley.(WHSV)

Central is led by dual-threat quarterback Ashton Baker. Baker orchestrates the Falcons’ power-running offense but has also shown the ability, himself, to make plays on the ground and through the air. He accounted for multiple touchdowns in Central’s region semifinal victory over Strasburg.

The Region 2B Championship is scheduled to kickoff Friday night at 7 p.m. at Central High School in Woodstock.

Rivals to meet for Region 1B Championship

Augusta County and Shenandoah District rivals Riverheads and Buffalo Gap will meet Friday night to decide the Region 1B Championship. Riverheads has not played in three weeks after earning a first-round bye in the playoffs before then advancing in the region semifinals via forfeit. Buffalo Gap is coming off a 44-20 victory over Central-Lunenburg in the Region 1B Semifinals.

The Gladiators and Bison met during the regular season with Riverheads claiming a 42-0 victory. Riverheads has won 47 straight games and is pursuing its sixth consecutive VHSL Class 1 State Championship.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday nigh at Riverheads High School.

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