POWHATAN - On a night where very little went right for them through the first three quarters, the Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Knights made sure not to leave Friday's tough loss without taking a few positives from the fourth.
The first was an incendiary 43-yard touchdown run unleashed by Dominic Falchi. The second was a red zone pass that Chase Musselman - who stepped up in place of Trevor Parker at the quarterback position - floated to Nick Dawson in the right corner of the end zone.
And the third was a fumble that the Knights recovered on the ensuing kickoff to ensure that they finished Friday's 50-14 setback to Fuqua with the ball in their possession.
The Knights didn't quit, BSH coach Gary Brock told his players after the game.
"It wasn't exactly what we envisioned," Brock said. "We played a good team tonight, and they showed us what it was all about - what we want to attain, that type-quality.
"I was proud of the kids - we're in shape," Brock said. "We're just so young in some spots, and without Trevor in the lineup, that made a big difference."
Parker, who bruised his hip in the Knights' Aug. 30 opener at King & Queen Central, only played a couple snaps on Sept. 6 versus Fuqua when he held for extra points.
"We said [to Trevor]: 'Dress up; we need your leadership on on the sideline and we need you to hold for extra points and field goals if you can,'" Brock said. "Just having him on the sideline was good."
Brock added of Parker: "Hopefully he'll be back next week and we'll go from there."
After the Knights' offense struggled with turnovers and with pushing the ball down field, Musselman at the end of the game tapped into a rhythm under center, hitting multiple receivers - including Zander Nadeau and Ben Newton - to move the chains through the air before finding Dawson in the end zone with mere seconds left on the clock.
"He got a little bit more confidence there at the end," Brock said of Musselman. "Without any preparation really except for this week, he did a decent job, really did...he stayed in there, hung in there and at the end of the ballgame, I think he felt real comfortable."
Jack Hatfield on defense made a couple of big tackles in the game for BSH - one to force fourth down in the first quarter, and another for a loss of yards in the second.
But early in the game, the Knights - in addition to turning the ball over and setting up short fields for Fuqua - missed several tackles, and the visitors took advantage, carving up chunks of yardage and adding points to the scoreboard.
Fuqua led 30-0 at halftime with the help of three touchdowns engineered by versatile Elijah Warner. From the pocket, he threw a 12-yard TD pass to Jaylen Hempfield along the right side and a 4th-down-converting 4-yarder to Luke Gee who was across the goal line. On special teams, he took a punt return all the way to the house from near his team's own 40-yard line.
Hempfield also raced the ball to the end zone on the second half kickoff, and Warner tacked on a 6-yard run across the goal line. Hayes Barton's 5 yard rushing TD gave Fuqua a 50-0 lead before BSH responded in the fourth to prevent the shutout.
"We faced a good team; we right now are a team that is young and doesn't tackle well in space, and as a result, we had it exploited last week and had it exploited this week, and he's got some really good playmakers on that ball club," Brock said. "From that angle, we've just got to keep working on tackling and try to get this line that we've got...more experience."
The Knights (0-2) will look to bounce-back next weekend with a home game against Broadwater Academy. The game was supposed to be played as their season opener on Aug. 23, but was moved by weather to this coming Friday.
Brock pointed out a few outstanding players on Broadwater's team: their quarterback, their quick running back who is also a home-run threat in the kick return game, and a 6-6 tight end who last year hurt the Knights on multiple big plays. Brock has observed that Broadwater runs a lot of screens and sprint out passes.
"We're gonna have our hands full," Brock said.
Game time is set for Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.