Senior  quarterback Gavin Patrick injured his ankle in practice two days before the home opener. Grooms showed why new Head Coach Steve Szarmach had him penciled in as the starting tailback. He ripped off touchdown runs of  55 and 65 yards. Grooms also threw a lovely 12 yard TD pass to senior wide-out  Jay Amos.


The game began with the Flucos in possession of the ball. On the first play from scrimmage, senior running back Jason Lee gained 23 yard on a sweep to the left. After a run for no gain, Grooms took off to his right, just made it around the corner and then made an outstanding cutback into the middle of the field to leave the Freedom defenders behind. Marcus Ditta added the extra point and the Flucos had an early 7-0 lead.

The Eagles promptly responded. They ground out several first downs and then found a receiver all alone behind the Fluco secondary. Their 35 yard touchdown pass and extra point kick tied the game at 7-7, with 3:47 remaining in the opening period.

The Flucos started the second quarter with an impressive seventy five yard drive. Grooms passed to Amos for a first down. Then the Flucos executed a trick play to perfection. Grooms threw a long overhand lateral to Amos and Amos fired a pass down field to an open Joshua Carbee for a big gain of 35 yards.  Running back Craig Russo then gained 18 on a sweep to the left and the Flucos had a first down at the 12 yard line. Grooms then lofted a nice high floater just over the Freedom defender and into the arms of Amos in the back of the end  zone.  Ditta again added the extra point and the Fluco led 14-7 with 7:42 left in the half.

The Flucos held Freedom and forced  a punt, as Zach Hartzog made a big stop for Fluvanna.  Unfortunately, the Flucos promptly turned the ball over, as Grooms was intercepted when he tried to throw long while under heavy pressure. The Eagles ran for a couple of first downs as the clock ran down. The Fluco defense forced a fourth down and one at the fifteen.  However, on a blast up the middle the Eagles scored with 0:25 left in the half. The extra point attempt bounced off the left post and was no good. The Flucos led at the half 14-13.

Freedom started the third quarter with the ball, at their own 16. They put together a punishing drive, mostly on the ground. Seven and half minutes into the quarter they finally scored on a nine yard run. The Eagles went for two points and their short pass was successful. The score was, Freedom 21 and Fluvanna 14, with 4:30 left in the quarter.

The Flucos were behind for the first time in the game, but they responded immediately. After a long gain on a pass from Grooms to Amos was called back due to a holding call, Grooms ran a keeper play. The Eagles almost brought him down at the line of scrimmage, but he broke free and got into the secondary. Again he made a clever cutback to elude the Freedom defensive backs.  The result was another long touchdown run. Unfortunately the extra point kick was no good and the score was 21-20 in favor of the Eagles with 2:58 remaining in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter neither team could generate any offense. Freedom drove the ball on the ground, but the Flucos came up with stops,  as Antonio Washington made an interception for the Flucos on one Freedom drive and the Flucos held on a fourth and two by a couple of inches on another drive. Unfortunately, when the Flucos got the ball they were stymied by a bad snap on one possession and a big loss on a sack on another possession. The Flucos final possession ended when a fourth down pass just missed.

After the game, Coach Szarmach praised Grooms for stepping up so impressively to run the offense. He also noted that Amos was outstanding on offense and as a ball hawk on defense, breaking up several of the Eagles passing attempts. Szarmach pointed out that, due to the late change at quarterback, the offense had to be a little constrained in what it could attempt. Szarmach also noted that Freedom had a major advantage in size. However, he explained that he attempted countered that problem by using his big linemen on offense and quicker, smaller lineman on the defensive side. This strategy seem to work reasonably well,  as the Flucos held their own in the trenches.

On Friday, Sept 4. the Flucos travel to Spotsylvania High. After a bye week they return home on Sept. 18 to take on Culpeper high. On Sept. 24 they begin play against traditional Jefferson District opponents, with a game at Charlottesville High.

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