Blue Devils Smother Trojans

Blue Devils smother Trojans

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The defense was so crisp, so on point that Valley Forge was given four turnovers and couldn't make Fork Union pay for it. The Trojans didn’t get into the red zone until the fourth quarter. But the defender that made the first two big defensive plays with a pair of interceptions, Malcolm Cook, also had a pair of touchdown-saving tackles late in the game to ice the Blue Devils' first shut out.

FUMA's Gavin Marks comes up with a fourth quarter sack to help preserve the Blue Devils shut out.

“I told everyone after their big play, we cannot let them in endzone and everyone said, ‘Let’s make it happen then,” Cook said.

They did, for the entire game. And on the other side of the ball, FUMA quarterback Christian Hackenberg threw three touchdown passes and running backs Nick King and Jeremy Bell each has a rushing touchdown as the Blue Devils rolled to a 33-0 win. Fork Union heads into Prep League play feeling both like they’ve accomplished something special these last five weeks and still wondering what might be if they eliminate turnovers all together.

“The last few weeks we’ve shot ourselves in a foot a few times and just haven’t done what we could have done to be this kind of football team (today),” said FUMA coach Micky Sullivan. “And we were better today, but we’re still not where we want to be yet. It was better than the last three or four games. We’re better, but if we stop with some of mistakes, we’ve got a chance to be something really special.”

Were it not for the four turnovers between the first and second quarter, a trio of fumbles and one interception, the Blue Devils would have been all but flawless. The game started out with FUMA receiving the kickoff and Bell putting his team in scoring position on a 30-yard run. On fourth and three, King broke through a tackle at the 2-yard line to draw first blood.

FUMA got the ball back on Cook’s first interception just moments later but a fumble marred the chance to extend the lead. But on the next Blue Devils drive, Hackenberg found receiver Michael Guerci for a 52-yards as he tip-toed down the sideline to complete the touchdown reception to make it 14-0.

“It was a corner route and I went to the sideline, caught it and took off,” Guerci said. “I wasn’t going to let anyone tackle me. I had to keep my balance and stay in bounds as best as I could. I’ve been hurt for a couple weeks and didn’t have a great game last week, so I wasn’t going to give up today anyway I could to get back in the swing of things.”

Things got strange from that point forward. Cook had another interception but Fork Union fumbled again. Then the two teams traded fumbles and the Blue Devils gave up a pick. But after the awkward stretch between the first and second quarters, Hackenberg made it a 21-0 game on a 32-yard reception to Tyron McDade.

In the third quarter the Blue Devils saw Bell punch in a 3-yard rushing touchdown before giving way to Hackenberg’s third passing TD, this one a 12-yard strike to Guerci to put the game out of reach.

The fourth quarter saw Valley Forge threaten twice with Cook making a game saving tackle from behind on a 60-yard pass and his defense standing tall in the red zone behind the rush of linemen Brett Seigal and Richlan Freeman. The Trojans had another big passing play that went into FUMA territory but Cook was there again to knock the receiver out of bounds. An interception and return from C.J. Landrum allowed the Blue Devils to take a knee with first and goal to end the game.

“They had a good receiving corps but everyone told me to come out here and show them that I was made to play (safety) out here and so I got those two interceptions and then they stopped throwing it my way,” Cook said. “It made me mad after that, they never went over the top again.”

FUMA (5-1) jumps into Prep League play on a 5-game winning streak having surrendered just seven points in the last two contests. The Blue Devils will travel to St. Christopher’s on Friday at 4 p.m.


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