By David Wagner
The Warrior JV football team faced the Fluvanna Flying Flucos September 23 in Crozet and entertained the Warrior faithful with a resounding 33-14 drubbing of the Flucos.
The Warrior ground game took control early, backed by a smothering defense that didn’t give the Flucos much room to operate. The offense dominated from the start and Fluvanna was never really in the game. Behind the running of Pete Barber, Trevor Harlow, and the dual threat of Tanner Knight, the Warrior offense controlled the tempo and the line of scrimmage.
On the Warriors’ first possession, Barber ran the ball for 20 yards on first down to the Fluvanna 24. On the ensuing play, Barber carried the ball again, scampering 24 yards for the first score of the game. The defense then did their job, forcing the Flucos to punt on a three-and-out possession. Led by Kurt Adcock, Zack Robb, and Brian Sapino, the Warrior defense kept the Fluvanna offense at bay for most of the first half.
Following the Fluvanna punt, the Warrior offense put together a well-engineered 60-yard touchdown drive. Again, Barber led the charge with eight carries for 36 yards and topped it off with a 4-yard touchdown run. Trevor Harlow chipped in with a 16-yard reception, which turned out to be the drive-saving play. On third and nine, quarterback Randy Roesch hooked up with Harlowe for the big play. Three plays later Barber got in the end zone for the score and a 13-0 Western lead.
The Flucos answered with a big play of their own. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg hit Brian Bullock down the left sideline for an 80-yard touchdown pass. The Flucos tacked on a two-point conversion to make the score 13-8. That would be their only score of the half, and it seemed to get the Warriors’ attention.
Following the kickoff, the Warriors put together another nice scoring drive. This time, Randy Roesch took control, completing back-to-back 15-yard pass plays to Knight and Harlow. Roesch then ran five yards himself before turning it back over to Barber, who scored his third touchdown of the game from 10 yards out. Barber kicked the extra point to give Western a 20-8 lead. (Yes, Barber kicks extra points, kickoffs, and also handles the punting duties.) Western tacked on another touchdown following a Fluvanna miscue. The long snapper sent the ball sailing over the punter’s head on fourth down and Western recovered at the Fluco two-yard line. After an off-sides penalty on the Fluco defense, Knight scored from one yard out to give the Warriors a 26-8 lead.
The Warriors weren’t done yet. The Flucos had trouble holding onto the ball all night and on the next possession they made a crucial mistake deep in their own territory. Following a long kickoff by Barber, the Flucos shot themselves in the foot. They got a 10-yard penalty on first down and fumbled on second down, which left them with a third down and 26 to go at their own four yard line. Then the Fluco backfield had trouble handling the ball. Warrior Brian Sapino picked up their fumble and scored Western’s fifth touchdown of the half. Barber converted on the extra point and the Warriors took a 33-8 lead into halftime.
The second half proved to be uneventful as the Warrior offense sort of put it on cruise control. Fluvanna scored one more touchdown, but that was all they could muster. The Warrior defense continued to stifle and frustrate the Flucos behind leading tackler Daniel Kuzjak (8 tackles), Sapino (6 tackles), Kurt Adcock (4 tackles, 2 sacks, forced fumble), Robb (5 tackles) and Barber (4 tackles).
On offense, Barber finished with 109 yards rushing and 3 TD’s. Harlow had 11 carries for 64 yards and Randy Roesch was 5 for 6, passing for 59 yards. The Warriors finished with a 33-14 victory and gained some momentum moving into the rest of the schedule.
“We had a good week of practice which usually equates with a good game on the field,” said Head Coach Randy Ellis. And that it did. “It was a good way to start,” he added, referring to Jefferson District play.