Falcons run ‘out of gas’ in valiant performance

Published 4:40 am Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Friday night’s game against visiting Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic’s varsity football team was a tale of two halves for Fuqua School.

Though they were significantly outmatched in terms of size on the lines, the Falcons held a 6-0 lead at halftime, but they could not maintain the advantage, falling behind in the third quarter and losing 26-6.

“I think for the most part, except for about five or six plays, they played well,” Fuqua Head Coach Ben Manis said of his players.

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Some plays featured unlikely and unfortunate turnarounds when the momentum was trending in Fuqua’s favor.

“We block a punt, and they recover it and return it for a first down,” Manis recalled from the first half. “We probably had over a hundred yards of just lost snaps …”

Some snaps sailed by the quarterback while others went through his or the dive back’s hands.

“All that kind of stuff you get when you have youth,” Manis said. “We played a team with 30 some kids on it, and 14 of them are seniors.”

To the eye, Blessed Sacrament Huguenot had significantly larger players than did Fuqua.

“Our offensive line is probably around 180 pounds, but their offensive line is probably closer to 270 or 280,” Manis said.

But remarkably, the Falcons held the Knights at bay in the first half.

Manis said that in preparing Fuqua’s linemen, “we did a lot of technique stuff, working, coming (into) this game. We told some of our defensive linemen, ‘Hey, you just need to occupy a block or two,’ and our defensive line did extremely well for being outmatched as far as size goes. Our kids played incredibly hard.”

Ultimately, he noted the Falcons “just ran out of gas.”

Their one score came when sophomore quarterback Maureon Tisdale-Couch connected with senior running back Frankie Denaro for a touchdown pass.

Fuqua (0-2) was set to face Atlantic Shores Christian School on the road Friday, but Hurricane Florence will likely change that. Manis said the game could be moved up to Wednesday and that a decision was coming Tuesday morning.