Fuqua wins, clinches No. 3 seed in playoffs

Published 12:28 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Fuqua School varsity football team put together the perfect prelude to its postseason on Friday night against visiting Broadwater Academy.

The Falcons concluded their regular season with a 50-14 rout of the Vikings, who represented one of the few Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) Division III opponents Fuqua faced this season.

Aside from Broadwater and Roanoke Catholic School, the Falcons’ entire 2016 regular season schedule consisted of the teams from the level above them, VISAA Division II.

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Having this kind of schedule has helped put Fuqua in good Division III playoff position as wins and even losses against teams from higher divisions contribute more to the Falcons’ total power points, which dictate their seeding in the state.

With Friday’s victory, the Falcons (6-3) secured the No. 3 seed in Division III and will face No. 2 Roanoke Catholic (8-1) at Vineyard Park in the state semifinals on Friday.

Ben Manis, Falcons head coach, had the Celtics on his mind in his approach to Friday’s game and in his analysis of it after the fact.

“It was good to kind of polish off some stuff for Roanoke Catholic,” he said. “I knew their coaches would be there, so we didn’t show anything new.”

Fuqua led Broadwater 43-14 by halftime.

Falcons junior Billy French went 4-for-10 passing for 54 yards and a touchdown. Junior Tyler Thomas had two catches for 23 yards and a score, junior Clay Osborn had one catch for 25 yards and senior Ed Newman had one catch for six yards.

Newman also had six carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns, French recorded seven carries for 116 yards and two scores, junior Ben Bailey had six carries for 90 yards and a score and senior Hunter Mottley gained 55 yards and a touchdown on three carries.

Leading the Falcons defense was sophomore Christian Adams, with six tackles and six assists, senior Jeffrey Fariss, with six tackles and four assists, junior Warren Dabney, with six tackles and two assists, French, with three tackles and three assists, and senior Nicholas Davis, with two tackles and five assists.

Thomas and sophomore Parker Moore each caught an interception.

The game afforded some good opportunities for Fuqua’s younger players to gain some experience, including sophomore Frank Denaro, who logged some important time at quarterback.

As the Falcons prepare to play Roanoke Catholic on Friday at 7 p.m., they will be looking to avenge a 54-11 loss suffered earlier this season against the Celtics at Vineyard Park.

“We’ve just got to play better,” Manis said.