Turnovers cost James Wood in loss to Falcons

WARRENTON — When you finish a football game with more turnovers than first downs, it’s a bad night.
On Friday, James Wood had a terrible evening at Fauquier.
The Colonels netted just four first downs, none through the first three quarters, and finished with five turnovers as the Falcons rolled to a 38-8 romp.
All-everything running back/defensive back Kevin Chavis racked up 148 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries as he led Fauquier to a 26-0 run in the second half.
The Fauquier defense held the Colonels to 88 total yards, picked off two passes, one returned for a touchdown, and recovered three fumbles.
“I could name any number of things,” Colonels coach Ryan Morgan said of his team’s offensive struggles. “The biggest thing was we didn’t block up front. We missed all kinds of blocks. We missed some things that we should have been able to do, and we flat-out whiffed on them.”
Yet with all of the numbers stacked so against them, the Colonels were right in the game heading into the final two quarters.
The James Wood defense, on the field for most of the first half, forced a pair of turnovers, and Fauquier (2-6, 1-3 Northwestern District) missed two field goals when the game could have gotten out of hand.
After the Falcons scored to go up 12-0, the ensuing kickoff became the Wood offense. William Crowder took a reverse and outraced the entire Falcon coverage team 93 yards for a score. Carson Hoberg’s two-point conversion toss to kicker Jacob Sortino made it 12-8, which was the score at the half.
“We were in it,” Morgan said. “I told the kids we only had a four-point differential that we should be able to come out and overcome, and then they come out and score 26 straight points.”
Like it had every other series, James Wood (2-6, 0-4) started the half on a three-and-out, and then Chavis and his mates took over.
Getting the ball on the Wood 49, Chavis needed just two plays — a 31-yard run and a twisting, highlight-reel 18-yarder, to put the ball in the end zone. The extra point made it 19-7 just two minutes into the half.
The Falcon defense took care of the next score less than two minutes later. Hoberg rolled left and badly misfired right into the hands of Fauquier’s Austin Parker, who bobbled the ball at first. Parker gathered it in and raced from the right sideline to the left sideline 32 yards for a score to make it 25-8.
Mike Zebarth came in at quarterback on the Colonels’ next series and his first pass was picked off by Herschel Rinker, who returned it to the Wood 22. Two plays later, Chavis sped through another hole up the middle and his conversion run made it 33-8.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” said Chavis when asked about his running style. “It just comes natural.”
“He’s a big-play person,” Fauquier coach Joe Prince said of Chavis. “If he can get out in the open, he can cause a lot of problems. We found a couple of creases for him and the O-line did a good job of adjusting and popped some. He makes things happen for us.”
Chavis, a 5-foot-6, 160-pound junior, certainly impressed Morgan.
“There was one play where we had him dead to rights in the backfield and he planted his foot and made a spin move and bounced outside for about 20 yards or so,” Morgan said. “When you’ve got somebody who can make plays in open space, they’re tough to defend.”
Fauquier blocked a punt out of the end zone and added a 27-yard field goal by Camden Dargis before Wood finally got its initial first down, a 13-yard run by Tylor McBride with a little more than nine minutes left in the game.
The Colonels were able to advance to the red zone on that drive, but fumbled inside the 10, adding to the frustration.
“We couldn’t get out of our own end of the field and the one time we get down there, we fumble it again,” Morgan said.
Fauquier’s defense had struggled this season, giving up more than 40 points in four of its games.
“We wrapped up tonight,” Prince said. “We did tackle better. There have been some games where we haven’t tackled very good, but tonight we did.”
Fauquier quarterback Jackson Eicher finished 10 of 18 for 134 yards and a 19-yard touchdown pass to Parker in the first half. After a 39-yard run on his first carry, Chavis had a six-yard TD to score on the Falcons’ first series.
Treyven Mandel had an interception for the Colonels that stopped a first-half scoring chance.
Mark Cisler’s 35 yards on seven carries led the offense.
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