LogoThe Flying Fluco football team got off to a slow start in the first and third quarters Friday (Sept. 29) and as a result the Fighting Hornets from Orange County were able to put up a 47-21 victory.

The Flucos played a solid offensive game, led by junior running back Daori Green and senior quarterback Ethan Graves. Green scored two touchdowns. His first touchdown in the second quarter came on a 38-yard burst straight up the middle. He broke clear of the first line of defense and simply outran everyone for the touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Green took a hand-off from Graves on an off tackle play from the four-yard line and went into the end zone untouched.

Late in the game with the Flucos in come-from-behind mode, Graves opened up the passing game and moved the Flucos on two fourth-quarter touchdown drives. The first ended with Graves scoring on a keeper from the five-yard line. The second touchdown drive ended with Green’s four-yard run.
After the game, Fluco Coach Steve Szarmach noted that the Fluco offensive line did a good job opening holes for Green and running backs Trevor O’Dell and Drew Hamshar. Quarterbacks Colby Martin and Graves also gained some serious yards on running plays. Szarmach made note of offensive linemen Dahris Tinsley, Jamal Jones, Walter Stribling (only a sophomore), James Easter, Justin Lamb and Matthew Waller as the blockers who opened holes for the running backs.

The game opened with Prophett Harris of the Flucos taking the kickoff out to the 23. After an exchange of turnovers, the Flucos punted and the Hornets took over at their own 43. It took only two running plays for the visitors to reach the end zone and take a 7-0 lead with 6:24 left in the opening quarter. Harris again returned the kickoff, bringing the ball out to the 33. Martin ran for 14 yards, but a fumble that no one could cover took the ball back to the Fluco 29. The Flucos punted and forced a fourth down and 13 on the Fluco 38. Orange was too close to punt, so they went for it, and a pass play succeeded perfectly for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead, as the Flucos blocked the PAT attempt. There were only 26 seconds left in the first quarter at this point.

The second quarter started with the Flucos turning the ball over by fumble. The Hornets started at the Fluco 40. They took advantage of the short field, scoring in four plays. An extra point attempt was successful, and Orange County led 21-0 with 9:47 left in the quarter.

The Flucos could have folded at this point, but they did not. The Hornets attempted an onside kick which failed. The Flucos had the ball at their own 48. Martin ran twice to the Orange county 38 yard line. Green then burst up the middle for his first touchdown. Kevin Alvarenga kicked the PAT and the Flucos trailed 21-7. Unfortunately, the Hornets responded with a beautifully thrown long pass that was well defended, but dropped into the hands of the receiver as he entered the end zone. The Flucos blocked the extra point try again and the score was 27-7 at half time.

The second half started especially badly for the Flucos. Late in the first half and on the first few plays of the second half the Fluco pass rush looked impressive. It forced three offensive holding penalties at the end of the first half, and started the second half with a sack and another forced offensive holding call. On second and 21 from their own 30, the Orange quarterback was forced out of the pocket and almost sacked, but he scrambled away and found a receiver running back toward him at full speed. The Fluco defenders, who were also coming back to the ball, couldn’t make the tackle and the Hornets completed a 70-yard touchdown play on what could have been a quarterback sack.

On the ensuing kick-off, a block in the back penalty set the Fluco back to the seven-yard line. A fumble in the back field was recovered by the Flucos, but on the next play Orange intercepted a Graves pass. The next play was an Orange County touchdown run and the Hornets had put the game away. The score was 41-7 with 8:49 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter the Flucos scored twice on short runs by Graves and Green, and the Hornets achieved one more score, for the final outcome of Orange County 47 to Fluvanna County 21.

The Flying Flucos are now 2-3 with wins over Bluestone and Madison County and losses to Spotsylvania, Monticello and Orange County. The Flucos now march into the heart of their schedule. On Oct. 6 and Oct. 13 they travel to Charlottesville and Powhatan County. Their next home game is Oct. 20, and it is their homecoming game against Albemarle High. On Oct. 27 they travel to Western Albemarle, and their final game of the regular season in Nov. 3 when they host Louisa County on senior night.