WAYNESBORO – Trevor Parker and Dom Falchi combined for 324 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground and the Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Knights (4-4) barreled past hosting Fishburne Academy on an explosive second half to win 31-14 on Oct. 11.
Parker, the quarterback, carried the ball 19 times for 180 yards and 2 scores while completing 2 passes on just 4 attempts for 20 yards. His 2-yard run into the end zone in the second half gave BSH the lead, and his 4-yard rushing TD capped a run of 24 points that put the visiting Knights in control of Friday night’s game.
Falchi also had 19 carries and churned out 144 yards plus a 4-yard insurance score, bringing him up to seven consecutive games with at least one touchdown. Senior James Hawkins, enjoying a breakout performance in his first varsity high school football season as the Knights’ kicker, kept the first-half score tight on a 19-yard field goal.
Zach Miles, who moved from defensive tackle to defensive end midgame, enjoyed likely his best game of the season, ending up with two sacks and six additional tackles. Defensive end Khadeis Battle, who’s been on fire these past few games, was in on two tackles for a loss and three more tackles.
“Really our defense has improved in the last couple of ball games,” said BSH head football coach Gary Brock. “We’re coming of age a little bit – and also the fact that we moved some people around a little bit changed some of our schemes…we feel pretty good about our guys now.”
The Knights got off to a slow start as Fishburne led 6-3 at halftime, with Trey Tiano punching in a touchdown from 4 yards out. BSH did have its chances early on, but two promising drives were halted by turnovers. They initially marched the ball 60 yards down field, mostly on the ground, but a short pass by the Knights got tipped and fell into the hands of the home team in the red zone. BSH drove the length of the field again in its second drive, but fumbled away the ball on the 8 yard line. Fishburne would score its sole first-half points on the drive that started off of the Knights’ fumble and featured a 51-yard play.
“But our offensive line was playing well at that point and they were opening holes,” Brock said. “We thought maybe it was just a matter of time – we just had to get to halftime and get everything kind of put in place the way it should be.”
Second-half adjustments included moving defensive tackle Zach Miles to defensive end. Between Miles and teammate Khadeis Battle on the opposite defensive end, the Knights were able to keep Fishburne’s offense bottled-up in the second half. The two players were key in giving the Knights the advantage against an offensive line that Brock estimated was about twice as big as his players.
From there, BSH on offense stayed with the run game and – between Falchi, who racked up the majority of his yards off-tackle, and Parker, who was effective in the trap game and also getting outside a lot of times – poured on the points and rushing yards. The backs were running behind offensive linemen Battle, Miles and David Mann, all three of whom were providing the rushers with good blocking up front, Brock said.
Later in the game, Fishburne’s Shawn Brogdon rolled out a 70-yard kick return touchdown, but the Knights would match them on Chase Musselman’s goal-line rush.
Hawkins added four successful PAT kicks – and even his first tackle – to his 19-yard field goal for yet another consistent performance. Brock all year has been very complimentary of Hawkins, noting how they’ve “got one of the best kickers around.”
“He’s just been a force for us, done a great job; in the game yesterday, it was the same way,” Brock said Saturday. “I don’t know what we’d do without him really. He’s just jumped in…he’s a good one, he really is.”
Brock also noted how Ben Newton has “really, really responded” at middle linebacker and has been a big factor in the defense improving. Instead of keeping him on one side, the Knights put him in the middle, where his speed and range has been a boon to his team.
Two games remain on the schedule for the Knights. Before their regular season game at Chincoteague on Friday, Nov. 1, they will play at Quantico this coming Friday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. The Knights are currently ranked 6th in the VISAA Football Division III poll. The top four teams advance to the postseason, putting BSH in a must-win situation the rest of the way forward. They’ll need some help to advance in addition to winning their next two games.
“We feel like we’ve been through the teeth of our schedule at this particular point,” Brock said. “Quantico is going to be formidable, there’s no question – they’re playing Homecoming and they’re going to have a big crowd and you’ve got to be ready for that type thing. But I feel like we’re playing better ball right now than what we have been in the past.”
Everyone also seems to be healthy at this point – a good sign for the Knights going into their final regular-season matchups.
“We still feel like we’re in good shape physically,” Brock said. “Our physical conditioning has helped us out tremendously I think this year where we’ve been able to hang in there and stay with some of these teams….when we took over in the second half [on Friday], again it was our conditioning that served us well. We just kept the ball and were grinding it out and wouldn’t let them get it back and that type-thing, and we hope to do the same thing here in the next two ball games.”