Fuquay-Varina’s football team faced more than its share of adversity during Friday’s Homecoming game against Green Hope.
The Bengals trailed 17-7 at halftime and had their momentum halted twice after a pair of 30-minute delays due to lightning. But a pair of touchdowns in the second half helped the home team rally for a 21-17 Tri-Nine victory over the Falcons.
With its third conference win in a row, Fuquay improved to 3-2 in the conference and 4-3 overall.
“I am proud of the way these kids came back in the second half,” said Bengals’ head coach Ryan Habich. “They had to overcome a lot of adversity. We were down 17-7 and had our momentum stopped twice due to the lightning delays. A lot of teams would have given up. I am particularly happy with the way we played defense in the second half against a good football team.”
Garrett Suggs’ interception set up Fuquay’s first score, a 25-yard run by Quincy Mangum that capped a four-play, 38-yard drive. William Mann’s extra point made it 7-0 with 3:50 left in the first quarter.
The Falcons (4-3 overall) drove from their own 31 to the FVHS 10 behind the passing of quarterback Chris Tutwiler, but lightning in the area forced the first delay just eight seconds into the second period. Green Hope needed just two plays after the delay to score on Tutwiler’s 10-yard pass to Tyler Baddick, and Lisa Armstrong’s extra point tied it at 7-all with 11:07 left in the half.
The Falcons got the ball back after a F-V punt and drove 88 yards in 16 plays. A 22-yard field goal gave the visitors a 10-7 lead with 2:16 left in the half.
After another Bengals’ punt, Green Hope drove 70 yards in five plays – the capper being Tutwiler’s 17-yard TD pass to Mitch Chalker – and Lawson’s extra point made it 17-7 at halftime.
FVHS caught a break on the first play of the third period when Suggs picked off Tutwiler again at the Green Hope 47. Five plays later, the deficit was trimmed to 17-14 when Mangum scored on a 13-yard run and Mann kicked the PAT with 9:29 left.
After another lightning delay midway through the quarter, the Bengals drove 60 yards in 12 plays before Green Hope held at its 35.
The Bengals took the lead for good with a 59-yard drive in nine plays that consumed four minutes and 10 seconds. Damarus Williams had two big runs for first downs and Tyler Williams reeled off a 16-yard run in the march. Williams finished off the drive with an 11-yard run with 7:50 left in the game, and Mann booted the extra point.
Kyle Smith intercepted a Falcons’ pass on GH’s next possession and Tyler Hinton’s sack with 1:04 left sealed Fuquay’s victory.
“When we have had to score or make a big stop, we’ve been able to do it,” Habich said. “That’s what has happened in our last three games.”