By Ben Sheridan / Scrimmageplaycva.com contributor
The Fluvanna football team knew the situation ahead of them. They were going to host Monticello for Senior Night, but more was on the line.
Win, and you have a chance at playing postseason football two years in a row for the first time since the turn of the century. Lose, and your season is over. Fluvanna met the moment, playing like a team fighting for the chance to stay alive while beating Monticello 28-0.
“We played pretty well in all phases of the game tonight, I thought we played probably our most complete game of the season,” said Flucos coach Mike Morris.
Fluvanna received the opening kickoff, and the first drive set the tone for how they played in the offensive phase for the night. Fluvanna drove 80 yards on a 9-play march capped off by an 8-yard touchdown run from Tyler Stoy, who finished with 80 yards on the ground. That run along with Elijah Bullock’s extra point gave the Flucos an early 7-0 advantage. The defense took the field after that and delivered.
“Coach came out in the first day of practice and said this was our playoff game and we needed to win it no matter what, and we needed to contain 8 (Monticello’s Malachi Fields) and we did just that,” said the Flucos’ Malachi Hill. “We executed our defensive game plan to perfection, and we got the win.”
The Flucos forced two turnovers in the first half, a fumble and an interception for Lance Gowans. In the second quarter, the offense stayed strong for the Flucos, resulting in two rushing touchdowns for Kobe Edmonds, who had 78 rushing yards on the night. Those scores helped to give the Flucos a 21-0 lead over the Mustangs at the half.
“At the break, I was telling the team that we had another half to play, that we needed to play a complete game,” said Morris.
The Flucos did just that as the team never let up on defense, forcing three turnovers on downs throughout the second half. Then in the fourth quarter, the Flucos began a drive that essentially iced the game. The drive went 6 plays for 57 yards in about four minutes of game time before Hill scored as part of his team-high 81 yards.
For Monticello, the loss marked the end of another tough season, a second straight two-win campaign and the first time the Mustangs have finished below .500 for two seasons in a row since 1998/1999, the first two years the school had a football team. Fields threw for 92 yards on a 10-for-24 night and had 18 carries for 128 yards.
Shortly after the game, the Flucos learned that the win landed them a spot in the Region 3C playoffs, continuing an upward trend that
“I’ve been grinding with this group for 3 years, and I’m glad that the culture and everything around here has been changed and it’s paying off,” Hill said.
It certainly has, and the Flucos played like the culture changed Friday night.