WARDSVILLE — The Blair Oaks Falcons knew it was going to take a great effort to beat a Centralia Panthers team that allowed just 13 points per game this season.
Friday night wasn't just a great effort. It was a dominant effort.
Blair Oaks quarterback Dylan Hair threw for 378 yards and seven touchdowns, leading the Falcons to a 60-14 win against Centralia in the Class 3 District 4 championship at the Falcon Athletic Complex.
"This is resiliency that goes way back," Blair Oaks coach Ted LePage said. "Centralia changed the momentum on us a little bit in the second quarter, but we challenged them at halftime, they woke up to that challenge and really went after it."
Both numbers were season-highs for Hair, but they came up short of the school's single-game records held by his older brothers, Nolan Hair (eight touchdown passes) and Jordan Hair (466 yards passing).
Still, not too shabby for the youngest Hair, who's just a sophomore.
"He does have his driver's license now," LePage said with a laugh. "But I didn't know he had seven touchdown passes.
"Coming in, they were a very good run-stopping team. We saw some things we could exploit with our passing game. They just don't see the complexity of our passing game very much."
Hair's first touchdown pass came on the second play from scrimmage, a 70-yard throw downfield to Jake Closser. Zach Herigon added the first of his six successful extra-point kicks to make the score 7-0 just 24 seconds into the game.
The Blair Oaks defense forced three straight Centralia three-and-outs to begin the game.
The offense responded with three touchdowns. Levi Haney caught touchdown passes of 36 and 10 yards, and sandwiched between those was an 8-yard touchdown run by Hair.
Blair Oaks led 26-0 with 1:29 to go in the opening quarter.
"That was unbelievable," LePage said of his defense's start.
Blair Oaks scored touchdowns on nine of its first 10 possessions. The next touchdown was a 7-yard pass from Hair to Carson Prenger. That made the score 33-0 midway through the second quarter, and was already the highest point total allowed by Centralia in a game this season.
The Panthers closed the half with back-to-back touchdown drives, both scores coming from running back Luke Hunter. The first was a 66-yard run, and the second was a 1-yard run on third-and-goal following Blair Oaks' only punt of the game.
Those touchdowns closed the gap to 33-14 heading into halftime.
"We knew, at some point in time, (Hunter) was going to make us look bad, and he did," LePage said. " I was a little upset with our players at halftime, because I thought we went into cruise mode too early, and we can't do that. You have to put the hammer down."
Blair Oaks responded by holding Centralia scoreless in the second half, while the offense stretched the lead.
Closser caught a 29-yard pass for a touchdown between two defenders on the Falcons' first possession of the second half.
Cobi Marble intercepted passes from Centralia's Beau Gordon on back-to-back possessions, and those turnovers led to two more Blair Oaks touchdowns, a 25-yard pass to Closser and a 79-yard pass to Prenger, who broke multiple tackles near the Blair Oaks 30-yard line and sprinted another 70 yards into the end zone.
"That's the weight room, it really is," LePage said of Prenger's play.
Jake Hagner took over at quarterback for Hair in the fourth quarter and threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Herigon, giving Blair Oaks 445 yards passing in the win.
The Falcons posted a season-high 622 yards of offense, as Jayden Purdy rushed for 108 yards on 11 carries and Hair added 72 yards on 12 carries.
Closser finished with six catches for 163 yards, while Prenger added five catches for 113 yards.
Centralia (8-2), the No. 6 team in Class 3, was led by Hunter, who finished with 15 carries for 108 yards. His seventh 100-yard rushing performance gives him 1,227 yards this season.
Gordon added 131 yards passing on 10-of-21 attempts for the Panthers.
Blair Oaks (10-1), ranked No. 4 in Class 3, will host Lutheran North in the Class 3 quarterfinals at 1 p.m. next Saturday.
Lutheran North (5-0), the top-ranked team in Class 3, won the District 3 championship Friday with a 45-10 victory against St. Francis Borgia.
"They're going to be a heck of an opponent," LePage said. "But there ain't going to be anybody that's not wanting to play them. We're going to go out and play our hardest."