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By Jerry Holsworth - firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- Five turnovers and Fauquier quarterback Colin Diehl proved to be too much for Skyline's football team Monday, and the Hawks fell 55-20 to drop their record to 0-2 for the young season.
"You have to give Fauquier and their kids a lot of credit," Skyline coach Heath Gilbert said. "They did a great job of both running and throwing the football. Our turnovers, particularly in the first half, really kept us from staying with them. Our defensive line didn't have a good night against them, and that really opened up the running game for them."
Things didn't look that way at the beginning, though. Skyline, led by quarterback Aaron Jeremiah, produced a scoring 72-yard drive on the first possession of the game to jump ahead 7-0, but it was downhill from there.
The Falcons marched down the field on their first possession, covering 60 yards in eight plays to get the tying score with 4:43 still remaining in the opening quarter.
From that point, it was all Fauquier as the Falcons tallied 34 straight points against the Hawks.
After a fumble by Chris Grady on the Skyline 6-yard line set the Falcons up on the Hawks' 4, it took just two plays for Fauquier to jump ahead for good.
It was a recurring theme as Skyline lost possession on three fumbles and two interceptions, neutralizing its own offense and setting up the Falcons with good field position.
Diehl's dual running and throwing threat made the Hawks pay dearly for each of their mistakes. The Falcons junior accounted for 271 yards of total offense for the night, moving the ball through the air and on the ground at will against the Skyline defense.
Diehl was responsible for two of Fauquier's eight touchdowns, scoring on a 1-yard run on its first possession of the game, and hitting Wesley Olinger on a 6-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter.
It wasn't the only touchdown catch for Olinger. When Leif Heltzel replaced Diehl at quarterback during the fourth quarter, Olinger took a Heltzel pass 59 yards for another touchdown. The Falcons junior finished the night with four catches for 121 yards.
Diehl also rushed for 87 yards on 15 carries, but it was Deandre Jackson who did the most damage for the Falcons. Rushing for 38 yards on seven carries, the sophomore tailback also scored a pair of first-half touchdowns for Fauquier.
"Diehl is a really good football player," Gilbert said. "He can run and throw, and he was making plays all over the place out there."
Despite the relentless attack by the Falcons, the Hawks never gave up. Trailing 55-13 late in the final quarter, backup quarterback Jerrius Baltimore led the Hawks on a 68-yard, 10-play drive to put the last points on the board for the night.
The freshman signal-caller scored on a 1-yard plunge on the last play of the game, and finished the night with a respectable 32 yards rushing on six carries and a 2-of-4 passing for 69 yards through the air.
Jeremiah, the Hawks' starting quarterback, gained 47 tough yards on 16 carries to lead Skyline. Jonta Baltimore was the top receiver for the Hawks with five catches for 96 yards.