By Robert Edmonds -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WARRENTON -- Warren County coach Tony Tallent summed up his team's performance Friday night in one sentence.
"We didn't come to play," Tallent said.
After a spectacular start to his team's matchup against Fauquier on Friday night, the sparks fizzled and the Falcons gave Warren County its fifth straight loss, 47-8. Both teams entered the matchup looking for a win in the newly formed Evergreen District, but it was a one-sided affair as the Falcons entertained the fans who braved the weather to watch their team.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Wildcats wasted little time lighting up the scoreboard. On their second play from scrimmage, Marty Haley blasted through the line and sprinted past the Falcons defense for a 73-yard score. The Wildcats then converted on a fake extra point attempt to take an 8-0 advantage.
"We had a couple guys who didn't do their job on that play," Fauquier coach Mark Scott said. "We told our guys all week they had a great running back and at some point he would make a play. I am proud of how we responded, though, after that."
The lead would not last for long. On the ensuing kickoff, senior Shawn Blount fielded the kickoff and went nearly untouched for an 81-yard return to quickly shift the momentum.
"Our kids had the day off from school and they were not prepared coming into tonight," Tallent said. "The kicking game was huge and we played very poor on kickoff."
The Falcons' defense held the Wildcats' offense to three-and-out on their next drive and then quarterback Garrett Diehl went to work for the Falcons. Three consecutive screen passes netted the Falcons a pair of first downs. After a holding penalty forced Fauquier into second-and-long, Diehl found Darius Stanford on the right sideline to set up first-and-goal.
Two plays later, Diehl scrambled in the backfield for extra time and at the last minute tossed a lob in the back corner of the end zone. Stanford leaped to haul in the pass and then consciously tapped his feet in the end zone before falling out of bounds to put his team ahead, 14-8.
"We executed real well tonight," Stanford said. "We played as a team and minimized our mistakes and played four quarters of football."
It was all downhill from there for Warren County as Fauquier continued to roll. Attempting to move the ball through the air, Warren County quarterback Tyler Post looked downfield on the next possession for a big play. Stanford was there however to make the interception and the Falcons quickly scored on a 9-yard touchdown run by Blount.
"During our first five games we never had a full team," Scott said. "With [Jon] Billings and Blount back from injuries, it has allowed us to do so much more on offense."
As the second quarter began, Fauquier showed no signs of slowing behind the leadership of Diehl. After scoring on a 48-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the quarter, Diehl tossed his second touchdown pass of the night to Stanford, giving his team a 34-8 halftime lead.
"Everything just seemed to click tonight," Diehl said. "On the run, we ran a counter play and the defense never knew what was coming. We had some distractions this week with Homecoming, but I think we did a real good job of getting past them and coming to play tonight."
If the lead wasn't enough for the Falcons, Blount iced the game when the second half began. Taking the second and final kickoff of the night on special teams for the Falcons, Blount burst through the special teams' coverage and returned his second kickoff of the night for a score.
"I didn't expect to get two returns for touchdowns tonight," Blount said. "We take a lot of pride in our special teams, and we got it done tonight. The guys gave me some good blocks, and I thank God for them."
The Falcons win left the Wildcats searching for answers as they look to get back on track as the season winds down.
"We put guys in at the end of tonight to see who would keep fighting," Tallent said. "We are not going to accept heads down. Even this late in the season, we are going to practice and we are going to look for kids who want to step up and play."