Chargers overtaken by Eagles in semifinal
Published 11:12 am Wednesday, November 14, 2018
by James J. Lidington
Fredericksburg Christian amassed 355 yards in total offense as the Eagles eliminated Isle of Wight Academy 41-0 on Saturday night in a VISAA Division II semifinal at King George High School.
The Chargers’ Hunter Edwards had 126 yards rushing for IWA (7-3.) Fredericksburg, 10-1 and ranked No. 1 in Division II, will play No. 3 North Cross — winners over No. 2 Nansemond-Suffolk — for the divisional title next weekend. Game time and location were to be announced later.
The loss was the third to the Eagles in the last two seasons. It was also the Chargers’ only road loss of the year. Fredericksburg outpaced IWA 41-20 Sept. 9 at William Hooper Field and also defeated the Chargers 21-7 in 2017.
The game was slated to be played at Fredericksburg Christian, but recent rainy weather forced the move to another facility in Fredericksburg, then to the King George site.
Isle of Wight battled poor field position much of the game. Their first drive began at their own 18 thanks to a muffed kickoff. The possession progressed to midfield before stalling. The two teams each netted four downs in each of their next offensives before Fredericksburg took a short IWA punt back to the Chargers 44-yard line. Five plays and two first downs later, quarterback Antwan Johnson found his favorite receiver Aaron Johnson on a 19-yard pass play to open the scoring.
IWA managed only 16 yards on its next possession, which ended when Zavier Ramos intercepted a Ryan Boyce pass that set the Eagles up at the IWA 27 at the end of the first quarter.
A play later, Aaron Johnson scored from 25 yards out. The PAT made the score 14-0, where it would remain until halftime. Lopsided as the score would become, the Chargers defense averted another Fredericksburg score. Their final possession of the half began favorably at the IWA 46.
The Eagles appeared to score again, but the play was called back due to penalties and a Fredericksburg defender was called twice for offsides on that drive. Still, the Eagles had a first-and-goal from the IWA 4. Cannon Zylonis lost a yard on first down, Cameron Schaub rushed for 4 yards, then another yard, setting up fourth-and-goal from the IWA 1. Antwan Johnson tried to sneak it in, but was turned back with :39.7 to go before the half. IWA took over, ran one play for 4 yards then let the clock expire.
The Charger coaching staff changed some defensive assignments during the break in an effort to clip the Eagles’ wings, but Fredericksburg went on to score the next 27 points of the game on its next four possessions in the third quarter. Schaub sprinted 67 yards, then Zylonis ran it in from 3 yards away. Schaub had a 28-yard scoring jaunt. Hunter Whittenberg then scored from the IWA 4-yard-line.
Meanwhile, IWA’s drives ended on a first-down fumble, a short punt that appeared to be partially blocked and a failed fourth-down conversion at midfield.
With the Eagles ahead by more than 35 points and with the game clock running according to VISAA rules, the teams ran only 16 more plays combined in the third and fourth quarters.
Edwards will be an All-State consideration after finishing the year with 1,161 yards rushing and a 7.44-yards-per-carry average, both tops on the team.
Scoring by quarters
IWA: 0-0-0-0 – 0
FC: 7-7-27-0 – 41
Aaron Johnson 19 pass from Antwan Johnson (Jackson Parker kick)
Aaron Johnson 25 run (Parker kick)
Cameron Schaub 67 run (Parker kick)
Cannon Zylonis 3 run (kick failed)
Schaub 28 run (Parker kick)
Hunter Whittenburg 4 run (Parker kick)
Isle of Wight; Fredericksburg
First Downs: 8; 9
Rushes/yds.: 34-140; 31-326
Passing yds.: 38; 29
Passing: 5-11-1; 2-6-0
Punts/avg.: 6-18; 2-30
Fum./lost: 4-1; 0-0
Pen./yds.: 2-9: 9-90
Chargers fare well
in cross country
Isle of Wight Academy runners performed well at the Virginia Independent Schools State Cross Country Championships on Friday, hosted by Fork Union Military Academy.
In Division II girls competition, IWA eighth-grader Hannah Edwards finished 10th out of 212 girls with a time of 22:13.5. Junior Kaelyn Hooker finished 11th with a time of 22:24.4. Both received All-State honors.
The Chargers’ Lorraine Upton also finished 52nd with a time of 24:27.4.
In Division II boys competition, IWA’s top finisher was Jack Powell, who came in 69th with a time of 20:22.2.
The Chargers boys teams came in 16th place out of 40 schools; the girls, seventh.
“The course was a very challenging one due to the weather,” said Coach Margarita Castillo of the rainy conditions on race day. “By the time our kids went, 600-plus runners had already run the course before them. “I’m very proud of all of them.”
JAMES J. LIDINGTON is a teacher at Isle of Wight Academy. He can be reached at 357-3866.