HRA Edges Fuqua In Offensive Shootout

Published 4:57 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2010

FARMVILLE – Seven-on-seven drills in football are usually reserved for the spring and early summer. But host Fuqua School and visiting Hampton Roads Academy put their own spin on the scheme last Friday night. Fuqua's No. 7, Charles Williams against HRA's No. 7 Ty Smith.

In the end, the visitors came away with a 50-44 victory over the Falcons at Gilmer Field.

Hampton Roads Academy (8-1 No.2 in VISFA DIvision III) capped a wild second half with the go-ahead score with 27.9 seconds remaining in the contest on an Andrew Maser six-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion by Smith.

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In an almost fitting end to the final score that resembled a seven-on-seven game, Fuqua (7-2, No. 2 in VISFA Division IV) was able to get back down the field to take two shots at the endzone, but couldn't convert on either long throw.

“That was a tough game, and a tough loss,” said Fuqua School head coach Skeeter Fore, noting that the clock was the only thing that was able to stop either team. “We couldn't get a stop at the end when we needed it.”

The game featured several momentum swings and despite the combined 94 points, a couple of missed opportunities.

Fuqua took a 14-7 lead on a 67-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter, and following a fumble recovery on the HRA 28-yard line looked to be in position to take a two-possession lead, but the falcons turned the ball over on downs on fourth-and-seven on the HRA five-yard line. Three plays later, the Navigators tied the game at 14 on a Maser 41-yard touchdown run.

The two teams would settle for the 14-14 tie at the intermission, but the offenses took over in the second half. Hampton Roads Academy scored three times in the third quarter to take a 35-22 lead, but Fuqua stormed back in the fourth.

Williams completed a five-yard scoring pass to Michael Marquez with 11:19 to play, and the two-point play was converted on a Williams pass to tight end LeVon Harper to pull the Falcons to within five points at 35-30.

Smith quickly dashed Fuqua's momentum with a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to put the Navigators back up 42-30, but Williams answered with a 60-yard touchdown run of his own to pull the Falcons back within six points at 42-36.

Larry Haskins put Fuqua ahead with 3:10 remaining on a four-yard touchdown run over the left side, and Williams capped the score with a two-point conversion to give the Falcons a 44-42 lead, but the Navigators responded with a clock-eating drive to seal the game away with Maser's score in the final minute.

“It's one of those situations, where you almost want them to go ahead and score, so you can have enough time to get the ball back to see what you can do with it,” said Fore. “Even with 27 seconds, we still had a shot, but it wasn't meant to be. The good thing for us, is that the teams we're fighting with for the second spot also lost, so this game really didn't hurt us that much.”

Williams led the Falcons with 261 yards rushing on just 19 carries, and had three touchdowns of 67, 11 and 60 yards. Haskins had 65 yards on 13 rushes and a four-yard touchdown. Williams was 5-8 passing for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Carter Cunningham had two catches for 73 yards, while Marquez and Harper had one catch apiece. Both had five-yard touchdown grabs.

Fuqua will travel to Hampton Christian on Friday night, and can seal the No. 2 spot in the upcoming VISFA Division IV playoffs with a victory.