Dudley leads Central Valley football team to shut out of Quaker Valley

Friday, August 30, 2019 | 11:20 PM

Ameer Dudley said he was a bit shell-shocked a year ago when he was thrust into the starting lineup at quarterback as a sophomore for perennial power Central Valley. But a year later, those nerves have appeared to turn into a burst of confidence for the Warriors.

“Last year, coach trusted me to start as a sophomore. Now it’s time to put my big boy pants on,” Dudley said. “I’m a junior now, and the other players are looking to me to lead. Now it’s time for me to take responsibility.”

Dudley amassed close to 300 total yards in one half, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another as Central Valley rolled to a 55-0 win over Quaker Valley on Friday night in the Tri-County West opener for both schools. Central Valley improved to 1-1, and Quaker Valley fell to 0-1.

“This was a great team win for us,” Dudley said. “We’ve come together, and we’re getting it done.”

Central Valley coach Mark Lyons said, “I thought our guys really played together tonight. The thing that stood out to me was that everyone is sharing in everyone else’s successes. Guys are happy when other guys succeed. They realize when you’re unselfish, good things are going to happen.”

Good things happened often for the Warriors on Friday, particularly for Dudley. He started his big night on Central Valley’s second possession when he rolled to his right, pulled up and hit Jawon Hall in stride for a 53-yard TD pass. Dudley showed his running ability on Central Valley’s next possession when he dropped back to pass before scrambling under pressure, finding his way into the end zone from 8 yards.

After Jaylen Guy extended Central Valley’s lead to 21-0 with a 17-yard run, Dudley induced the mercy rule with back-to-back TD passes. He made short work on a one-play drive, tossing a 42-yard TD pass to Michael Barbuto before connecting with Hall once again, this time from 31 yards.

Dudley, who finished with 244 yard passing, was looking for big things coming into this season after joining the starting lineup last year. But he was far from a one-man show. Guy finished with 131 yards on the ground, and Hall hauled in three passes for 101 yards.

“We’ve been working all off season trying to get better,” Dudley said. “We’ve had a lot of chemistry so far this season.”

Said Lyons: “That’s what we’ve always tried to be about. In our offense, you’re going to get a chance to touch the ball.

“We try not to feature one guy. We try to get as many guys touching the ball as possible. It’s never been just one guy with us.”

While Dudley and Co. were putting on a show offensively, Central Valley’s defense was equally impressive. Quaker Valley was unable to get its offense on track as Central Valley limited the Quakers to minus-14 yards in the first half and 6 yards total.

For Central Valley, Friday was a continuation of an impressive start to the season. It opened the season last week with a win over Blackhawk, and Friday’s dominant victory came against a Quaker Valley team just two years removed from a PIAA title.

“They’ve committed themselves to the fact that to get through this conference, you have to play good defense and do everything they can to get the ball back into the hands of our offense,” Lyons said. “This is just a start. Our guys understand that. We’re trying to keep an even keel. We’re not too excited that things are going well and not down when things don’t go our way. We try to keep this thing in perspective.”

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