Flucos lose to Western Albemarle 7-21

Flucos lose to Western Albemarle 7-21

Record stands at 6-3

By Duncan Nixon, correspondent

Rain fell throughout Friday’s (Oct. 26) Fluco football game against Western Albemarle, with a real downpour in the final minutes. Both teams got equally wet, but nobody got dirty, as the artificial turf handled the rain and there was no mud bowl. As is often the case when two equally matched football teams meet, this game was decided by turnovers. The Flucos lost three fumbles and the Warriors did not have any turnovers.

The game started with the Flucos going three and out. Western Albemarle moved the ball for a couple of first downs, but the Fluco held and forced a punt. Western had gained the advantage in field position as the Flucos were pinned on their own three-yard line. The Flucos moved the ball from the three all the way to the Warriors’ 30-yard line where they went for a first down on fourth and two. Unfortunately, the Warriors broke through for a tackle in the backfield, and they took over with 3:43 left in the opening quarter.

With a series of successful runs, Western Albemarle marched down the field, scoring the first touchdown of the game on a quarterback keeper with 23 seconds left in the quarter. A successful extra point made it 7-0.

The Flucos promptly responded. They started at the 20 and moved up to the 35 on a roughing the passer call. Senior running back Prophett Harris had seven- and eight-yard gains, and freshman quarterback Kobe Edmonds surprised the Warriors with six-yard gain on a quarterback sneak for a first down at the Warriors’ 37. Senior running back Daori Green then took a sweep all the way down to the 12, and on the next play senior running back Nathan Smith powered into the end zone on an off-tackle burst. The PAT was successful and the score was tied 7-7 with 9:55 left in the half.

After a series of punts, Western moved the ball late in the half, and had a fourth down at the Fluco five-yard line with five seconds left in the half. They chose to go for a field goal rather than a touchdown, and the field goal attempt missed to the right, as time expired.

The Warriors took the second half kick-off and punted after one first down. The Flucos managed a first down, but then fumbled the ball away to the Warriors. Western started at the Fluvanna 42 and took advantage of the short field opportunity.  A 21-yard run halved the distance to the goal. Two running plays gained little, but the Warriors put the ball in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown on a rare pass play. The point after was good and the Warriors led 14-7 with 5:35 left in the quarter.

The Flucos made a first down, but then faced a fourth and four. The punt snap was fumbled, but when Elijah Bullock scooped up the ball he saw a wide open field to his left and ran for the first down and more. The Flucos moved into Warrior territory on a pass from Edmonds to Harris, but a fumbled snap on third and one was recovered by the Warriors with 13 seconds left in the period.

The fourth quarter opened with a huge run up the middle by the Warriors’ fullback. Harris, running from the far left side of the field, used his impressive speed to make a saving tackle at the five. The Flucos turned back three running plays, but on fourth and two a pitchout play succeeded in putting the ball into the end zone. Western had a two touchdown lead with 9:36 left in the game.

The Flucos moved the ball downfield to the Warriors’ 10-yard line, but a pass into the end zone on fourth and five was incomplete and the ball was turned over on downs. The Flucos managed to stop Western two more times, but on each resulting Fluco possession Western forced the Flucos to try a  fourth down play and each time the Flucos failed. The clock ran out and the game was over.

After the game Coach Mike Morris, gamely giving an interview in the pouring rain, noted that his team moved the ball well against a strong team. But, turnovers always hurt. The Fluco regular season ends Friday (Nov. 2), when they travel to Louisa to take on the undefeated Lions.

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