Fluco football team falls in opener to Broadway

By  Duncan Nixon

Fluco Head Football Coach Michael Morris described the battle as “an old school physical football game.” Unfortunately, for the Flucos the Gobblers were able to jump to a 21-9 lead in the first half. The Flucos looked good in the second half as each team managed one touchdown for a final score of 28-17.

The game started with a pooch kick-off by Broadway that the Flucos covered at their own 36-yard line. Fluvanna went three and out and punted. The Gobblers took over at their own 28; they promptly marched down the field and scored on an 18-yard run. The extra point was good and the Flucos trailed 7-0 with 7:02 left in the first quarter. The Flucos took the ball deep into Gobbler’s territory gaining most of their yards on a nice run by senior Richard Price. The Gobbler defense stiffened and the Flucos turned the ball over on downs. The first two Gobbler running plays were stopped for losses, with Fluco junior defensive tackle Keeron King making one of the stops. A bad snap then sailed over the quarterback’s head and the ball went out the back of the end zone for a safety. The Flucos trailed 7-2.

After a safety, the team that gave up the safety must kick to the team that recorded the safety. Broadway’s kick went down the middle of the field, Fluco junior running back Isaac Lewis took the ball up the middle and burst through the oncoming Gobblers. He was immediately in the clear and no one came close to running him down. He scored the touchdown with no one anywhere near him. The Fluco’s Cullen Long added the extra point and the Flucos led 9-7 with 1:18 left in the first quarter. As the quarter ended, the field and the stands were cleared due to lightning in the area. After a 45-minute delay, during which only a very light sprinkle occurred, the game was resumed.

After the game, Coach Morris noted that he felt that his squad might have come out of the delay “a little flat.” Using mostly running plays the Gobblers ate up most of the time in the second quarter. On the Gobbler’s first possession the Flucos bent but did not want to break. They forced the Gobblers into fourth down situations twice. On a fourth and four, the Gobblers gained five yards and then on a fourth and goal from the eleven, the Gobblers completed a rare pass over the middle for their second touchdown. They never trailed after that touchdown.

Broadway tried another pooch kick after their touchdown, and this time it worked. The Gobblers recovered the kick at the Flucos’s 40-yard line. A 22-yard run and a late hit penalty put the Gobblers inside the ten yard line. The Flucos stopped two running plays for minus four yards and a fourth down, but again the Gobblers passed for a touchdown, with only 1:08 left in the half. The Flucos were now down 21-9, and Broadway’s ball control offense made the prospects for a Fluco comeback somewhat bleak.

Broadway received the second half kick-off and went into ball control mode. The Flucos forced Broadway into a fourth and nine, so the Gobblers lined up in punt formation. Instead the punter ran a sweep for a first down. Three plays later, the Gobblers were in the end zone again for a 28-9 lead. The Flucos marched down the field but failed on a fourth down from the 16. Early in the fourth quarter the Flucos finally forced Broadway to punt. Erwin Cuellar made a big catch and run for the Flucos, and Lewis made a short spinning run for the Fluco’s second touchdown. A two-point conversion was good for a score of 28-17, with only 5:31 remaining. The Flucos forced the Gobblers into punt formation. This time a fake punt run was unsuccessful. The Flucos had the ball back with 3:46 left on the clock, but they could not generate any more points.

Morris noted after the game that he thinks the play of sophomore quarterback Cam Via suggests that the team may be able to have a more diversified offense. He also liked the play of the defense, and lamented that several key penalties hurt.  Linebacker Marcus Dickerson made some impressive hits. The Flucos host Spotsylvania on Sept. 2, a school with a less impressive football history than Broadway High, which went to the VHSL football playoffs last year.   

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