Chargers overcome Falcons, 21-14

Published 1:51 pm Monday, November 4, 2019

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By James J. Lidington



Trent Holland’s pass deflection with no time remaining on the clock finalized Isle of Wight Academy’s 21-14 win Friday here over Fuqua School.

The Falcons’ final play was set up by a pass interference penalty against IWA as time expired. Games cannot end on defensive penalties, giving Fuqua a final first down at IWA’s 23-yard line.

Falcons quarterback Elijah Warner’s pass floated into the end zone for a would-be game-tying score as Holland streaked across the field to swat it down.

IWA had all but locked up the win when, leading 21-14, defensive back Jabarie Thomas intercepted Warner’s pass with 1:45 left in the game. But IWA could not manage a first down and was forced to punt with 1:08 on the clock.

Fuqua had the ball at its own 24, but rushed upfield on the strength of a hook-and-ladder play into IWA territory. Another pass interference call moved the Falcons to the IWA 38, setting up the game’s climax.

IWA senior running back Zach Stroud was his team’s leading rusher with 84 yards on 22 carries, as IWA ran for 118 total offensive yards. Warner was a dual threat for Fuqua, rushing for 89 yards and passing for 88.

After Warner’s 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, IWA evened the scoring with a nine-play 66-yard drive, kept alive by a Cade White 10-yard quarterback scramble on third down and 6. White was knocked out of bounds at the Fuqua 1-yard line and running back Seth Baker finished off the drive with a scoring plunge. The ensuing Kody Kosiorek PAT made it 7-7 with 10:25 left before halftime.

After a penalty-aided drive by Fuqua ended with a punt, IWA took the ball again, marching 69 yards in 6 plays on the strength of a 31-yard pass from White to Odin Bristol. Stroud capped the proceedings with an 8-yard run that, along with the PAT, made it 14-7, a lead IWA would never relinquish.

The two teams exchanged short possessions at the start of the fourth quarter, though IWA’s proved the most injurious to its own efforts. A specious penalty backed IWA up to its own 1-yard line and Bristol lined up to punt from his end zone.

After the snap, a Fuqua defender rushed through the line and blocked the punt, falling on the ball for a touchdown that, along with the PAT, tied the score at 14 with 8:09 to play.

Isle of Wight punted to end its next drive; the Falcons ended theirs on an unsuccessful conversion of a fourth-and-long situation, giving the Chargers the ball at their own 35. Two plays later, White found Bristol for a 59-yard scoring play that gave IWA another lead.

The Chargers fumbled away their next possession and senior lineman Chip Darden stifled the next Fuqua drive with a deflection of a fourth-and-12 pass attempt that maintained the score. Thomas’ interception stopped the following Falcons drive.

The Chargers are ranked fifth in the most recent Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Div. II Poll. With the top four spots receiving post-season playoff bids, all the Chargers can do is wait until final polls are released next week.

Teams ahead of IWA play games this week: The Chargers (5-4) are finished with their regular season. IWA, however, stands to benefit from its defeat of Fuqua (8-1), the top-ranked team in VISAA’s small-school Div. III.



Chargers senior Sarah Wait and junior Quinn Hooper were named to the 2019 All-Metro Conference Team in varsity volleyball.

The No. 4-seeded Lady Chargers were upset Thursday in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament, falling to No. 5 Broadwater Academy, 26-24, 25-23, 15-25, 21-25, 15-10.


Cross Country

The Chargers Cross Country Team ended its undefeated season at its last regular-season meet on Oct. 24. Several IWA runners set personal records this year.

The 2019 Metro Conference cross country championship races took place on Monday at Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield. The Virginia Commonwealth Conference meet was on Thursday.

On Nov. 7, the Chargers wrap up their season with the VISAA State Cross Country Championships in Mechanicsville.


JAMES LIDINGTON teaches at Isle of Wight Academy. Contact him at 357-3866.