New Era Begins: Fluvanna battles back to beat Broadway 

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Fluvanna football started a new chapter with a familiar face at the helm Friday night as longtime assistant Mitchell Pace was named the new head coach in the offseason.


It’s off to a pretty good start.


The Flucos battled back from a 14-point second half deficit to gut out a 28-27 victory over Broadway on the road in overtime with a Marcus Dickerson run for a 2-point conversion putting Fluvanna over the top. The win ended a 14-game losing streak for the Flucos.


“We didn’t really play clean in the preseason either, so we talked about trying to limit those mistakes and even if we make them, we keep our head in it and persevere,” said Pace on being down 20-6 in the third quarter. “But we talked about the three things we want to play with, and one of them is keeping our head in it and I’m so proud of how the boys responded even when things didn’t look good for a while.”


Fluvanna quarterback William Lambert snuck the ball in with 7:49 left in the fourth quarter, and the 2 point conversion pass to Benjamin Denby tied the game at 20-20. Lambert ended the night going 16-27 with 254 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and a pick.


After that score, Fluvanna struggled the rest of the fourth, giving up a fumble and a pick. But the defense stayed strong, and provided three huge stops to send the game to overtime.


Broadway began overtime with the ball, and scored quickly on two plays, two carries from Hunter Honeycutt and the extra point to make it 27-20.


Fluvanna answered, and on the first play Dickerson powered his way in for the 10 yard score.  That quickly raised the question: go for the tie, or go for the win?


“There was never any doubt, I told them if we score we’re going for two,” said Pace. “Nobody had to ask, they knew we were here to win, that’s the change we’re trying to make here and the risk paid off tonight.”


The risk certainly did pay off, as they gave the ball right back to Dickerson and he pushed through one more time to seal the victory for the Flucos, 28-27.

“I don’t have the words man, it’s surreal, it’s dream-esque, it’s what you live for and to have it in overtime on the road, with a bunch of guys that just sold out and did everything we asked of them, it’s hard to put words to it right now but it’s truly unbelievable,” said Pace.  


Right from the start it seemed that the Flucos had their heads in the game, because on the second play of the game, Samuel Stoltz pounced on the ball for a fumble recovery on defense.  


However, the early mistakes began to show as the offense stalled deep in Gobbler territory after a third and goal touchdown pass was negated by a chop block penalty and kept the Flucos scoreless. Later in the first, a costly holding penalty helped pin Fluvanna deep in their own territory and Broadway took advantage. Broadway blocked the punt and Mason Dellinger recovered it in the endzone for a Broadway touchdown, giving the Gobblers the early 6-0 lead.


The mistakes kept piling up too, as drives continued to stall into the second quarter, and a fumble set the Gobblers up with the ball in Fluco territory. They capitalized on the Fluco mistake again, this time with Uriah Rutan finding Ryder Post on a 31-yard touchdown pass to make it a 12-0 game with 7:32 left before halftime. After another punt and Broadway driving into Fluvanna territory, things began to feel like they were falling apart for the Flucos once again.


About that time though, Chazz Barksdale-White came up with a huge interception deep in Fluco territory, and the momentum helped his team put together a 94-yard drive that ended with William Lambert throwing it over the middle to Samuel Loving for a 27-yard score to make it 12-6 before the half. Loving ended the night with four catches for 44 yards and a touchdown.


The same early offensive mistakes would come to plague the Flucos early in the third quarter as well, as another lost fumble resulted in the Gobblers starting their drive in the red zone. Rutan would take advantage of this field position, finding Jordan Ennis for the score and with Honeycutt powering through for the two-point conversion, the Gobblers took a 20-6 lead with 5:30 left in the third and things started to look bleak for the Flucos.


The Flucos stayed calm though, while knowing that things needed to change and change fast.


“No matter what, mistakes are going to happen, but we had to keep pushing as a team,” said Marcus Dickerson who had 13 carries for 63 yards, a fumble, and a touchdown on the night.


And they did keep pushing, and the very next drive the offense started to find its footing.  The Flucos capped a 6 play, 61 yard drive with Lambert this time finding Benjamin Denby in the back left corner of the endzone to make it a 20-12 ballgame. Denby ended the night with three catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.


The momentum carried over on defense, as White followed up quickly with his second interception of the game to deny the Gobblers once again.  White also led the Flucos in receiving with seven catches for 120 yards.  


Another three and out from the offense and a stop from the defense took us to the fourth quarter, where the Flucos faced a challenging 4th and 4 from Broadway’s 46 yard line.  But then, Lambert found Denby 23 yards down the field, and surrounded by three green jerseys Denby went up with a massive one-handed grab to keep the drive alive for the Flucos. 


That set the stage for the game-tying touchdown and the overtime heroics by Dickerson.


The Flucos have a bye week coming before their home opener with Chancellor on September 8th, and the Gobblers will travel to Waynesboro next Friday.