Here's a few extra notes from Fuquay-Varina's big 35-17 Friday night win over Cary in the Tri-Nine Conference opener for both teams. I call it "Instant Analysis."
- Fuquay's defense is as good as advertised. Cary running back DeAndre Henry was averaging more than 110 yards rushing entering the contest. He was held to 57 on 14 carries. The Bengals also got a defensive touchdown from corner Garrett Suggs.
- Cary's defense isn't that far behind. Don't be confused by the 35 points. Seven of those came from Fuquay's defense, and Fuquay ran for almost half of its usual rushing numbers. The Imps held Cory Hunter to 46 yards on 20 carries and Ricky Fergerson to 6 yards on 9 carries. Both of those players entered the game averaging more than 100 yards. However...
- ...credit Fuquay-Varina's coaching staff for making the right adjustments. The Bengals tried to stretch Cary's defense to the outside by running some option. The first play was a 70-yard touchdown run by Malcolm Thaxton. Thaxton ended the night with 132 yards on just 5 carries. He was the hero of the game, hauling in a 20-yard touchdown catch and breaking up a Cary pass in the end zone on defense. He was also second on his team with five tackles.
- Cary had 12 penalties for 117 yards. Those killed any chance of the Imps staying in the game, often extending Fuquay's drives.
- Perhaps the best play of the night wasn't Thaxton's 70-yard touchdown run, (Cary High's) Darrell Hamilton's 85-yard kickoff return for TD or Suggs' 48-yard interception return for TD. In fact, it didn't come on a touchdown at all. Fergerson took a short screen pass and appeared to be gone. With nothing but green in front of him, it was all but decided that Fergerson would score. But he didn't. In Darrell Green-esque fashion, Cary's Donte Johnson hawked down arguably the fastest of the Fuquay running backs from behind at the 1-yard line. And he did so after starting on the whole other side of the field.
- Speaking of Johnson, he did not return a punt or fumble or interception for touchdown. He has four total returns for TD this year. He almost did though. He dropped a sure pick-6. Nonetheless, Johnson did have an interception -- a few plays after he had an interception wiped out for roughing the passer.