By Arnav Kumar
LoCoSports Staff Writer
South Riding (August 26th, 2016) – When August rolls around, most students are just preparing for the start of the new school year, but football players are also preparing for their first games of the season. On August 26, the Freedom High School Eagles definitely seemed well prepared as they cruised to victory over the Fluvanna County High School Flying Flucos, beating them 42-0.
The Eagles were in control throughout the game, as the Flucos just never seemed to be able to get into a rhythm offensively. The Flucos’ offensive struggles can be credited to Freedom’s stifling defense, which was anchored by its cornerbacks and junior safety Jeremy Cofield, who had multiple breakups and one interception.
After choosing to receive the kickoff, Freedom wasted no time getting on the board with a 50-yard touchdown connection between Eagles’ junior quarterback Jack Fitzgerald and junior receiver Robert Mayo at the 9:26 mark in the first quarter. The passing touchdown was followed by an absolute uproar from the Freedom Frenzy, which seemed to jolt the Freedom football players on the sidelines.
Following empty possessions from the Flucos and the Eagles, Fluvanna County’s punt returner muffed the catch off a Freedom punt, allowing the Eagles’ senior cornerback Matt Faber to recover the football. Following the muffed punt, the Eagles rode a wave of momentum to a 5-yard touchdown carry by Mayo with 1:59 to go in the first quarter. At the end of the first quarter, the Eagles held a 14-0 lead on the Flucos.
Despite their 14-point lead, the Eagles stayed in high gear throughout the second quarter, with Fitzgerald rushing two yards for a touchdown. However, the Eagles suffered a slight hiccup when the Fluvanna County defense picked Fitzgerald off of a pass thrown into a congested area. Fortunately for the Eagles, their defense absolutely shut down the Fluvanna County offense, not allowing the Flucos into Freedom territory.
After getting back onto the field, the Freedom offense returned into form when Eagles’ sophomore wide receiver Aidan Doherty dashed into the end zone off a 42-yard reception with 2:21 remaining in the first half. In fact, the screen pass was Doherty’s first career varsity touchdown.
“When I was running the play, it went through my mind that I got to do whatever I can to help the team out,” Doherty said. “When I came to the sideline, everyone was congratulating me and I looked in the stands and everyone was getting hyped.”
Going into the half, the Freedom Eagles held a 28-0 lead on the Fluvanna County Flucos, who held their heads high despite the poor first half.
In the second half, the game slowed down a bit, with more run plays coming from the Freedom offense. Early in the third quarter, Fluvanna County looked as if it was about to score its first touchdown; however, multiple Freedom defenders tackled the Fluco wide receiver, jarring the ball loose and resulting in a Freedom fumble recovery. Off of the turnover, Mayo managed to pull off the play of the game by trucking multiple defenders after lining up in the wildcat, resulting in another 50-yard touchdown.
To cap off the game in the fourth quarter, Eagles’ senior running back Daniel Krakowiak sprinted into the end zone to make the score 42-0 in favor of the hometown Freedom Eagles.
Looking forward to the next game, the Freedom Eagles will challenge the Park View High School Patriots (1-0) of Sterling on September 9 in South Riding. Last year, the Patriots beat the Eagles 21-7, giving the Eagles extra motivation to come out strong on their home field
FINAL: Freedom Eagles defeat the Fluvana Flying Flucos 42-0. Robert Mayo is our player of the game with 8 total touches for 164 yds, 3 TDS.
— FHS Sports Radio (@fhssportsradio) August 27, 2016
The Fluvanna County High School Flying Flucos will be taking on the Spotsylvania High School Knights at home in Palmyra on September 2.
“This is the new era of Freedom, and we’re going to show people that we’re here to stay. We, as a team, are a lot stronger,” Doherty said. “We love the community and the support they give us, and in return, we’re going to give them wins and satisfaction.”
1Q 9:26 F Jack Fitzgerald to Robert Mayo 50-yard TD pass (Pearson PAT)
1Q 1:59 F Roberty Mayo 5-yard TD run (Pearson PAT)
2Q 6:44 F Jack Fitzgerald 2-yard TD run (Pearson PAT)
2Q 2:21 F Jack Fitzgerald to Aidan Doherty 42-yard TD pass (Pearson PAT)
3Q 10:40 F Robert Mayo 50-yard TD run (Pearson PAT)
4Q 0:38 F Daniel Krakowiak 25-yard TD run (Pearson PAT)