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Falcons open with 52-27 win

Fuqua School’s varsity football team opened with a 52-27 victory over host Fredericksburg Christian School, last year’s Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II state champion.

“Really, the difference was their seniors graduated last year and the amount of seniors we had this year,” Falcons Head Coach Ben Manis said. “… We had multiple people scoring. Some of our new kids, some of our old kids really mix it up well.”

He noted that the Eagles were a good team.

“They were not as experienced as they’ve been in the past, but that coach always gets a lot of great effort out of his kids,” Manis said. “I have a lot of respect for that program with him at the helm, Billy Thomas. It was a hard-fought game. They had a couple good punches, and we kind of gave them our best, and it came down to experience.”

Fuqua senior quarterback/running back Elijah Warner went 8-for-11 passing for 241 yards and two touchdowns, and he also had 13 carries for 197 yards and two scores.

Senior quarterback/wide receiver Drew Osborn had 104 yards receiving, was 1-for-1 passing for 32 yards and a touchdown and had three carries for 36 yards and a score.

Junior running back Jackson Allen recorded nine carries for 41 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior wide receiver Matt Osborn registered 115 yards receiving and one touchdown, and senior wide receiver Jaylen Hempfield added three receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, junior lineman Ryan Ledger led the way with 13.5 tackles, including nine solo. Allen, at linebacker, recorded 10.5 tackles, with nine of them solo. Warner, also at linebacker, registered 10.5 tackles, including eight solo.

“With what (the Eagles) did on offense and how we had to defend it with the personnel we had, our defensive line did all that they could do,” Manis said. “You only have three down linemen, and they were eating up two blocks apiece for the most part. Any time that we could get that ball stopped in the backfield, that’s how it was happening.”

He noted that the down linemen rotating in included senior Hunter Gibson, senior Colby Barton, senior Josh Tharpe, freshman David Hunt, sophomore George Magnotti, sophomore Jordan Johns and senior Jarrod Cooper.

Manis said the game set a good tone for the season given the effort on a hot Saturday afternoon that saw so many players become involved.

The Falcons (1-0) visit Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic School on Friday at 7 p.m.