With starting running back Mike Williams out for the second straight game with a sprained knee, No. 19 Centreville turned to its passing game last night at West Springfield.
Senior quarterback Sam McElroy completed 8 of 9 passes for 185 yards and rushed for two first-quarter touchdowns and senior wide receiver Ferris Eways caught five passes for 156 yards to lead Centreville (2-1) past West Springfield, 20-0, before approximately 3,600 in a Virginia AAA nonleague game.
The victory was the Wildcats' second straight since they dropped their opener to Lake Braddock.
"A lot of people don't think Centreville has a passing game," McElroy said. "We came out here, knew we had a job to do, and got it done."
The Wildcats looked sharp from the start, opening the game with two lengthy, nearly identical scoring drives.
The first, following the opening kickoff, went 73 yards on nine plays in 3 minutes 23 seconds. McElroy found Eways for a 41-yard gain, then, two plays later, scampered 10 yards into the end zone untouched on a bootleg for the first score.
"They weren't respecting our corner," McElroy said. "They didn't have anyone outside, so we knew we could go there."
After West Springfield (1-2) punted, Centreville drove 78 yards on 10 plays in 3:38 to go up 14-0. McElroy capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run on another bootleg to the same side. Five plays earlier, McElroy had found Eways on a 32-yard pass play over the middle on third and 10.
"This is a running offense with a great quarterback," Centreville Coach Mike Skinner said. "He allows us to do a lot of things. You try to stop the run and we just throw the ball. He's our leader."
Centreville's defense then took over, holding West Springfield to three first downs and 12 yards passing. Spartans senior running back Steve Massie, who rushed for 314 yards and averaged 7.3 yards a carry in West Springfield's first two games, was held to just 49 yards on 18 carries.
"We set up for Massie," Skinner said. "We weren't going to let him beat us. We were going to make them throw the ball."
McElroy found Eways on a 52-yard strike midway through the third quarter to set up the final score, a one-yard run from Gregory Hamilton. Sophomore linebacker Kevin Foglio registered two sacks, and the Spartans went three-and-out on their first two possessions. West Springfield had just one second-half first down.
Since their opener, the Wildcats have outscored opponents 48-0.
"That first game shocked us," Eways said. "We went in a little too confident. We needed to lose before we could win. We needed to learn to hate to lose."