Fluco mash: Fluvanna goes off in third to take down Madison

Photo: John Berry

It’s been quite some time since Fluvanna County had a game like the one it had Wednesday with Madison County. In fact, in a 57-35 win over the Mountaineers, it was the first time the Flucos broke the 50-point barrier since 2006 when they beat William Monroe.


The most amazing part? That 35 of those points came in the third quarter, and all unanswered. Fluvanna came into the second half trying to dig out of a 14-point hole. It left the third quarter with the game well in hand. The Flucos held on in the fourth and as a result, they enter Jefferson District play at 2-1 now after the win over the Mountaineers.


“Offensively, we came out and said we’re just going to run our base stuff and mash it and control the clock,” said Fluvanna coach Mike Morris. “We just happened to block well and so it turned out we got a few big runs and it turned things around. We had the blocking and a running back who was running with purpose.”


Of the 35 points scored in the third quarter, Demetrez Christmas accounted for 18 of them with three touchdowns, two on the ground and the other coming on a kickoff return. It was that kickoff return though that meant the most. With his team down 21-7, Christmas fielded a squib kick a raced in for a 75-yard touchdown after getting a huge block from Daori Green. That cut it to 21-14 in just 12 seconds and from there it was another 28 points from the Fluvanna offense.


“It was a play that turned the momentum around,” Christmas said. “I have to give all the credit to number nine there, he made an amazing block that allowed me to get going and turn it up field.”


After a strong first half, Madison County ran into turnover trouble. The Mountaineers answered the kickoff return with a nice drive into Fluco territory but a fumble gave the Flucos a break. After a 20-yard touchdown run from Green, Fluvanna had things tied up at 21-21 with 6:21 left in the third. It was back to Christmas on the next drive as he broke off a 60-yard touchdown run to give the Flucos their first lead of the game at 28-21. Then following an interception from the Flucos defense, Christmas had a 20-yard run to make it 35-21. He finished with 214 yards rushing with 151 of them coming in the third quarter.


“You give it all up to offensive line because they made the holes and then I exploited them,” Christmas said. “They never gave up, they kept fighting, kept pushing and that’s how you win ball games. The team stayed together, nobody put their heads down after the first half.”


The next play from scrimmage for Madison resulted in another interception on a bomb and Austin Craig took it all the way to redzone for Fluvanna. That set the table for a 3-yard Nate Smith dash into the endzone and suddenly it was 42-21 going into the fourth quarter.


“For this group (tonight’s results) just brings us closer together as a team and as a family,” said center Alden Custer. “We’re getting more trust with each other and it’s great. As an offensive line we just love to open up holes like that for running backs.”


Madison stopped the bleeding in the fourth and on the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Elijah Lewis launched an 80-yard bomb to Nick Messineo. Fluvanna responded with a long drive and this time it was Prophet Harris scoring from five yards out on an improvised reverse to make it 50-27. Lewis hit Messineo on the next drive on a 10-yard touchdown, their third such connection on the night to cut it 50-35. However, the Mountaineers turned it over on downs late in the fourth and Fluvanna wrapped things up with a Cameron Holland 1-yard touchdown run.


Things went a lot better for the Madison in the first half. The home team got a 30-yard TD pass from Lewis to Sam Estes on the game’s opening drive. After the Flucos responded with a lengthy drive capped by a 1-yard keeper by Kobe Edmonds, the Mountaineers responded with 16-yard strike from Lewis to Messineo. Madison made it 21-7 going into the break thanks to a pass from Lewis to Michael Carpenter that went for 70 yards to set up a redzone situation that Matt Lewis finished off with a 5-yard touchdown run.


“We played hard early, executed the game plan and the kids did what they were supposed to,” said Madison coach Chandler Rhoads. “I’m not into moral victories there though, we got beat, we got pounded in the second half. You have to give Fluvanna credit. We’re just not there yet, not ready. Yea, it’s a tough schedule but there’s no excuse to come out in the second half and play like we did. Plain and simple.”


Madison will travel to William Monroe next week while Fluvanna heads to Monticello for its Jefferson District opener.