Isle of Wight cruises past Fuqua

Published 12:13 pm Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Isle of Wight Chargers avenged one of last season’s five losses with a 55-7 thrashing of the second-ranked Fuqua Falcons on Friday night. The win over the is expected to vault Isle of Wight (5-1, 3-0 in the Virginia Colonial Conference) to the top of the Virginia Independent School Athletic Association District IV standings.

Junior running back Donald King and receiver Curtis Waters led the potent offensive attack, scoring in a multitude of ways to combine for five touchdowns on the ground, in the air and on special teams.

“It was a little nerve wracking at first. We knew the road to the postseason went through Farmville, and our guys were ready a bit for redemption,” Isle of Wight head coach Dale Chapman said, “We knew that we could play with them. We had a few mistakes last year that if they would have went the other way, we would have won. It was just a matter of settling down and not panicking and doing what we do.”

The game looked to be a back-and-forth affair early on, as Fuqua elected to receive and drove down the field. The 14-play, 57-yard drive was capped off with a 1-yard plunge by running back Tyler Frink to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead. Isle of Wight tied things up on its second drive, when a facemask penalty set King up with an easy nine-yard stroll into the endzone.

After an abbreviated Fuqua drive, the junior transfer fielded a punt deep in Isle of Wight territory, made a defender miss and scrambled 70 yards for the score.

“Donald brings a different element from what we’ve had in the past,” Chapman said. “He’s exciting to watch. He can break a big one at any time, and that takes pressure off of our other running backs.”

Feeling the urgency to keep up with the Chargers, Falcons head coach Benjamin Manis attempted to convert on fourth down around midfield. Isle of Wight stuffed Fuqua short of the to-go line, and quickly made them pay. A six-play, 51-yard drive ended with yet another King run for a touchdown to extend the lead to 21-7.

“When you’re in a game like that, and you score when their offense is stalling, you kind of get that feeling to never look back,” Chapman said. “Everything was just working at that point.”

Isle of Wight scored 55 unanswered points over the next 30 minutes, including a perfect pass play from quarterback Bryce Casey to Waters on the next drive. The senior playcaller and reigning Western Tidewater Player of the Week found the speedy slot receiver in the flat, who then beat several Falcons to the edge and scooted down the sideline 74 yards for the touchdown.

Senior linebacker Alec Edwards led the stingy Isle of Wight defense with 12 tackles, while Waters added nine and linebacker Will Morningstar chipped in eight. As a whole, the Chargers allowed the Falcons to amass only 108 yards of total offense compared to 349 of their own.

Now that a brief two-game road trip has wrapped up, Isle of Wight will play the remainder of its regular season at Hooper Field, beginning with Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot on Friday night. The Knights are 3-3, 2-0 in VCC play, but will present a challenge to Chapman’s Chargers.

“There’s some history there,” Chapman said. “It’s always a hard-nosed nail biter, and I expect nothing less this Friday. It’s a big rivalry, probably bigger than Fuqua, and are kids are pretty amped and psyched to get out there.”