HHS Falls To Fort
Skidding Streaks Lose, 25-13
Posted: October 13, 2012
FORT DEFIANCE — Harrisonburg High School athletic director Darrell Wilson told coach Chris Thurman to keep his head up as he walked off the field following Friday’s game at Fort Defiance.
Thurman and the Blue Streaks suffered another close loss that’ll make it increasingly difficult to keep spirits high.
Fort running back Derick Applegate scored a go-ahead 52-yard touchdown with 2:48 remaining and the Indians’ defense made two late interceptions to snuff out Harrisonburg’s comeback in a 25-13 FDHS win that pretty much spells the end of HHS’s playoff hopes.
The Blue Streaks (3-4 overall, 1-3 in the Valley District) have now lost three straight and four of their last five. Just midway into October, they have already been eliminated from district title contention.
Playing its first full game without quarterback Ryan Nixon, who broke his left leg last week against Broadway, HHS struggled to find offensive production early and couldn’t mount a scoring drive late.
“When you go into halftime with no points [you’re disappointed],” Thurman said. “I don’t even know how many first downs we got. But yeah, we didn’t do very well.”
Fort led 6-0 at halftime and then began the second half with a 15-play, 87-yard touchdown drive that lasted 7:41 and put the Indians ahead 12-0.
The Streaks subbed out fill-in quarterback Weylin Holmes, who was 0-for-4 passing and lost 10 yards on three carries in the first half. They inserted junior Matt Shifflett, whom Thurman said received some snaps under center during the week, but “less than half.”
HHS responded with its only scoring drive of the day, one in which a pair of Fort penalties and several big runs by Jordan Dove put the Streaks on the scoreboard in exactly two minutes.
“A calm head,” Thurman said, when asked what he thought Shifflett provided. “He was a lot more under control, I guess. I thought we’d maybe get the ball to Weylin at receiver.”
When the Indians got the ball back, HHS’s defense helped give its team the lead. Ahmad Salehi drilled Fort quarterback Trevor Lam, who tried to get rid of the ball to avoid a sack. The wobbly toss was intercepted by Blue Streaks defensive lineman Trent Sosa, who returned the ball 25 yards for a go-ahead touchdown.
But with momentum clearly on Harrisonburg’s side, Fort Defiance (4-3, 2-1) eventually responded. The Indians were forced to punt, but their defense then forced Harrisonburg to punt. Fort got the ball back on its 46-yard line and Applegate broke off his big run, which proved to be the game-winner.
“We needed a score and it was just one of those moments, you get into the zone,” said Applegate, who finished with a game-high 151 yards on 20 carries. “Just in the moment, it’s not going down – dedication.”
The touchdown put the pressure on the untested Shifflett, who’s in his first season playing varsity football after competing as one of Harrisonburg’s top golfers last fall.
He tried to go deep to Holmes, but FDHS cornerback Caleb Simmons intercepted the pass and brought it back for a game-clinching touchdown with 1:50 remaining. Shifflett threw another INT when the Streaks got the ball back.
“Not knowing what the quarterback situation was going to be, we kind of had to prepare for everything this week,” Fort coach Dan Rolfe said. “…We thought it was going to be the Holmes kid, but we kind of figured they’d have to make a change at some point.”