CHINCOTEAGUE – After Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Football traveled quite a ways to the Eastern Shore to play Chincoteague in its regular season finale, both Trevor Parker and Dom Falchi traveled quite a ways on the field, combining for 377 rushing yards on 33 carries in the Knights’ 41-0 shutout victory.
BSH ended the 2019 season one spot shy of the 4-team VISAA Div. III playoffs - Portsmouth Christian, despite a regular season ending loss, held onto the fourth seed ahead of the Knights - but BSH also ensured a winning 6-4 record in Gary Brock’s return to the head coaching role this year.
“It was good to get back into it…and of course being here had a special meaning,” said Brock, who came back to BSH in 2018 as the offensive coordinator and was head football coach at one of Blessed Sacrament Huguenot’s predecessors – Huguenot Academy – from 1977 to 1995. His players this year, he said, did everything he and his coaching staff asked of them.
“Physically I thought we were in better shape and probably our best performances were in the second half, because we still had gas in the gas tank,” Brock said. “Sometimes we didn’t match up that well with some of the teams and so forth as far as skills and things like that, and maybe age and experience, but I thought we did a good job preparing, and I think as far as with some of the teams we had early in the season, we managed to come through in pretty good shape.”
And that’s a testament to his players, he said – “the fact that they worked so hard and had gotten themselves in good shape this past camp and really before we started.”
Parker, the quarterback, had a huge night on Friday, carrying the ball 15 times for a fiery 225 yards and 3 touchdowns.
“We missed him so much in the early stages (of the season when he was injured) and he’s our catalyst, there’s no question about that,” Brock said. “You always wonder, ‘What if?’ But he had a great year.”
Playing 8 games this season, Parker still managed to cross the 1,000-yard rushing threshold as he finished with 1,041 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Falchi was a workhorse for the Knights on Friday, carrying the ball 18 times for 152 yards. He concluded the season on nine straight games with a touchdown as he punched into the end zone on a 3-yard run to wrap up the Knights’ scoring in Friday’s matchup. He had sustained a sore knee during the course of the game and was without a touchdown to his name through the first three quarters, but the Knights resolved that if they got inside the 5-yard line, they’d try to get him into the end zone. At the beginning of the fourth, the Knights happened to drive down there, and Falchi got into the end zone and “he was happy as could be,” Brock said. Falchi also had a great season, rushing for 941 yards in 9 games.
“Those two, we couldn’t have done it without them – there’s no question about that,” Brock said of Parker and Falchi.
And after a bumpy start to the 2019 campaign, the Knights’ defense finished it on fire with back-to-back shutouts over Quantico and Chincoteague. Brock said that Ben Newton and Khadeis Battle “were just playing lights-out the last few ballgames.” Against Chincoteague, Newton was in on 7 tackles and Battle was in on 6, including 2 for a loss.
Jack Hatfield, Chase Musselman and Harrison Lee also enjoyed strong defensive performances on Friday as they were part of at least three tackles apiece.
On the second play of the ball game, the Knights ran a trap, and Parker rolled out a 48-yard romp into the end zone to give his team a 6-0 lead. Soon, a fumble recovery gave BSH good field position, leading to a 32-yard rushing touchdown by Nick Dawson. One short punt and a six-yard Chase Musselman score later, the Knights found themselves in a 20-0 first-quarter lead over Chincoteague. But the home team in the second quarter pulled together, and the Knights made some mistakes – they saw a 45-yard touchdown run and another long gain similar in distance get called back on a clip and a holding penalty, respectively – to keep BSH out of the end zone for the rest of the half. But even when the Knights were having troubles in the second quarter, with Chincoteague picking up first downs, the Knights’ defense persevered and shut down the home team, enabling BSH to go into halftime still up 20-0.
From there, Parker added rushing scores of 19 and 27 yards, and Falchi kept his touchdown streak going with the three-yard run in the fourth quarter. Senior kicker James Hawkins ended the game with five points after touchdowns.
The Knights for next year hope to return all but six players – seniors Battle, Dawson, Ben Fleet, Hatfield, Hawkins and Musselman – as well as add a few more players who can help out the team.
“The seniors that we had, we’ll miss them,” Brock said. “They played a significant role in the success we had this year.
“It was a good season...we’ve put together two winning seasons here back-to-back,” he said. And hopefully – he noted – they can build upon that successful stretch.