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Prep Football: Tough loss may be what Eagles needed
BY TOM LEISS
Losses aren’t the most fun thing in football, or any sport for that matter, but sometimes you can get more out of losing than cruising to an easy win.
Last year, Fredericksburg Christian rolled through its regular season unbeaten, but got a rude awakening when the playoffs rolled around.
The Eagles fell to North Cross, 43–13, in the VISAA Division 3 semifinals in a game that left a bad taste in their mouths, not only from the result, but because of the way the team reacted to adversity.
Friday afternoon, FCS (6–1) suffered its first loss of this season—falling, 26–14, to visiting Paul VI—and coach Tim Coleman wasn’t overly disappointed after the game.
“How I wish we could’ve had a game like this last year,” the seasoned coach said in the team huddle after the game. “This game shows how much you want to be a Division 3 state champion.”
After a scoreless first quarter Friday, the Panthers (4–3), who play in VISAA’s Division 1, struck in the first two minutes of the period. The Eagles answered on their next series to tie the score, 7–7.
Unfortunately for FCS, the visitors would score twice more before halftime, including on a 32-yard touchdown pass with no time showing on the clock, to hold a 21–7 lead at the break.
The Eagles could have mailed it in from there, but with last year fresh in their minds, the hosts picked it up after the intermission.
“The second half we did not fold. We had to keep it coming,” senior Cody Goode said. “We had the experience of last year. We had a horrible meltdown … and this time we just dug deep.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get it done, but we kept pushing. I’m proud of the way we finished, but I think this loss really helped us in our mindset, that we’re just not invincible.”
However, even though the Eagles did not coming back to win, they held the Panthers to one first down in the second half and outscored their guest, 7–5, in the final 24 minutes.
“I’m proud of our kids. The second half we hung in there and played hard,” Coleman said. “Today we did a lot better job of responding to adversity … and I hope that’s going to lead on to the future for us in the next few weeks.”
FCS visits Fishburne Military Academy next Friday.
Paul VI 0 21 0 5 — 26
Fred. Christian 0 7 0 7 — 14
Pa-J. Cofield 20-yard run (N. Carpenter kick)
FCS-H. Griffis 1-yard run (G. Sala kick)
Pa-W. Shrouds 11-yard run (N. Carpenter kick)
Pa-T. Scanlon 32-yard pass from N. Carpenter (T. Scanlon kick)
Pa-N. Carpenter 32-yard field goal
FCS-B. Barham 1-yard run (G. Sala kick)
First downs13 9
Rushing yardage44-204 32-92
Passing yardage82 65
Rushing: Fredericksburg Christian—Hunter Griffis 17-61, TD; Chris Barlow 2-15; Bret Barham 8-12, TD; Cody Goode 3-8; Aaron Alexander 2-(-4). Paul VI—Owen Costello 18-116; Jamon Cofield 13-66, TD; Will Shrouds 4-18, TD; Nick Carpenter 5-4; Ryan O’Connor 1-4; Team 3-(-4).
Passing: Fredericksburg Christian—Bret Barham 5-13-0 65. Paul VI—Nick Carpenter 4-10-0 82, TD.
Receiving: Fredericksburg Christian—Jamie Mason 2-45; Renn Garbee 1-12; Landon Sharp 2-8. Paul VI—Tyler Scanlon 3-76, TD; Jamon Cofield 1-6.
Tom Leiss: 540/374-5440