Despite clinging to a one-point lead in the second half, Fuquay-Varina still wasn’t about to be defeated.
Not on this night.
The Bengals staved off Green Hope 20-6 Friday in a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference football tilt. The homecoming win kept the Bengals (5-1) tied atop the conference standings at 3-0 and secured their 17th win in their last 20 games. Three of those wins have come against Green Hope (3-3, 2-1), including in last year’s state playoffs.
The Bengals’ defense forced the Falcons into three punts, two interceptions (by Hunter Simo and C.J. Scales) and a turnover on downs Friday.
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“We felt we would try to attack them through the air and the youth showed,” Green Hope coach Kwame Brown said of his young team. “I was proud of our kids’ effort. But we’re young and it showed tonight.”
Not that it came easy for the Bengal defense, which surrendered 43 points in last week’s shootout win over Athens Drive. Green Hope sophomore quarterback Willie Taylor threw for 158 yards on 19 completions.
“We made a few coverage adjustments in the second half and talked about those little pass plays. They were just killing us on those in the first half,” Bengal coach Jeb Hall said as Taylor completed 10 of his 12 first-half tosses.
But after halftime, the Falcon offense was placed on 24-minute lockdown.
The Bengals forced a three-and-out and a turnover on downs on Green Hope’s first two possessions of the second half and bookended those with four-yard touchdown runs by Isaac Morgan and David Honeycutt.
Quarterback Brycen Braswell first put Fuquay-Varina on the scoreboard with a nine-yard first-quarter scamper but Taylor answered back with a 16-yard scoring strike to Jack Hunt in the second.
The Bengals clung to a 7-6 lead to start the second half when Hall made a challenge to his defense.
“I challenged our defense to get a three-and-out (to start the third quarter) and they did it,” Hall said. Following the Green Hope punt, Fuquay-Varina capped an eight-play drive with a four-yard touchdown jaunt by Morgan for a 14-6 lead.
THREE TO KNOW
Willie Taylor, Green Hope: The sophomore quarterback completed 19 of his 28 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown.
Brycen Braswell, Fuquay-Varina: The senior threw only eight passes but carried the ball 16 times for 95 yards and a touchdown.
The Bengals’ offensive line: Ja’quez Carrington, Ben Winkler, Taylor Blalock, Kevin Martinez and Mike Dinatale cleared the way for five Fuquay-Varina ball carriers to combine for 319 yards. Tyrus Townsend accounted for 83 of those and Honeycutt followed with 71.
BY THE NUMBERS
6: Number of different Falcons to catch a pass.
28-15: Number of passes and rushes for Green Hope, respectively.
8-63: Number of passes and rushes for Fuquay-Varina.
THEY SAID IT
“We talked all week about homecoming … Don’t get caught up in it, keep focused, all the cliché stuff that coaches say. But our kids did a good job with it and thank God we didn’t have any kids on the homecoming court.” – Fuquay-Varina coach Jeb Hall on the distractions of homecoming week.