Falcons soar past Gators

Published 2:41 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Fuqua School varsity football team tested some of its young players on defense Friday and ran away with the game on offense, opening its 2016 season with a 66-35 rain-soaked victory against host Greenbrier Christian Academy in Chesapeake.

“It was a wet, nasty, sloppy hurricane game,” Fuqua Head Coach Ben Manis said. “I’m glad we got it in.”

The Falcons got to work quickly against the Gators, holding a 29-7 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Email newsletter signup

“We just could run the ball better than they could,” Manis said. “We’re just better in the box than they were. They probably had the edge on us out on the edge as far as receivers and all goes and defensive backs, but it was a nasty night, and we were running our triple-option attack, and it was just a little bit too much for them. I don’t think we had very many negative plays, if we had any.”

Fuqua, which led 43-21 at halftime and 53-21 after three quarters, finished the game with 431 yards rushing.

Ben Bailey had eight carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns, Billy French recorded 12 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns, Jeffrey Fariss registered 11 carries for 65 yards and one touchdown and Devin Allen had seven carries for 45 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion.

Ed Newman had a rushing touchdown, two catches for 78 yards and another score and he also returned a punt 42 yards for a touchdown.

Manis said that because of the weather, the Falcons did not throw it much; Allen went 3-for-7 passing for 98 yards, including the 45-yard scoring toss to Newman.

Fuqua had the advantage against the Gators on the offensive and defensive lines.

“Greenbrier, they do have some good pieces around, but they’re a young team up front, and we’re a much older team, much more experienced team up front,” Manis said.

He described the Gators as a pass-happy team, which made the game a good training ground for three new defensive backs he was breaking in.

“Our defense had a great opportunity to really grow up some,” Manis said. “We got a bunch of reps there. Some of the times, we were calling stuff that was going to make our kids be in a bind so they could react athletically.”

Because Manis and his staff began substituting defensive players early, no one piled up an abundance of tackles. French had four solo tackles and two assists, Christian Adams and Fariss each had three solo tackles and two assists, Cody Howard had three solo tackles and Bailey had an interception.

Manis said this game gave his team a little bit of confidence moving forward.

“We know what we can do well in,” he said, after highlighting one of those areas — overall team play in the box.

Fuqua has a bye Friday and hosts Virginia Episcopal School on Friday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.