ROANOKE — The William Fleming Colonels were on the cusp of tying the game when everything fell apart.
An illegal shift penalty erased what would have been a game-tying touchdown against Brookville in the second quarter of Friday’s homecoming matchup. The next play was a Brookville interception.
The play after that, Brookville’s Jared Glinski sprinted past the Colonels defense for a 96-yard score. In a matter of three plays, the whole feel of the game shifted.
“That’s a big momentum shift,” Brookville coach Jon Meeks said, “from possibly tied up, they’re back in it, to a 14-point deficit, all in 30 seconds.”
The Bees continued to pull away after that, running wild to a 28-0 victory to spoil Fleming’s homecoming festivities. Glinski had 198 rushing yards by halftime and finished with 206 yards on 11 rushes with two scores. His second touchdown came from 57 yards out.
The Colonels (2-3) made mistakes — including five turnovers — and the Bees (2-3) capitalized. Fleming’s first four possessions ended in turnovers, and on the fifth, Brookville blocked a punt.
Colonels senior quarterback Deaquon Nichols said the team had plenty of chances early on but wasn’t able to seize the moment. He was especially frustrated about the team’s first offensive play of the game, when a botched snap turned into a lost fumble.
“It’s like every game is one play away,” Nichols said. “If the first play had been different, maybe the whole momentum would have been different the entire game.”
The second half didn’t start well for the home team, either. Fleming was set to receive the kickoff, but the Bees recovered their own kick and drove for another touchdown.
Senior Ryan North found the end zone on that drive, which was his second score of the evening.
He finished with 82 yards on 17 rushes. In total, Brookville outrushed Fleming 359-69.
Nichols and sophomore Dashawn Lewis both spent time at quarterback, and both came up just short of leading scoring drives.
In the fourth quarter, Lewis completed a pass to Saequon Bannister in the red zone, bringing the Colonel faithful to their feet once again. Bannister nearly made it to the goal line before he was stripped and Brookville recovered.
Fleming coach Jamar Lovelace characterized Fleming as “a young team not ready to compete at the highest level yet.” Lovelace, a Brookville graduate, said he hopes to see improvement in one major area for his young players.
“We want to finish drives,” Lovelace said. “Went on an, I think, nice 12-play drive in the second half there and got stripped going into the end zone. A big thing for us is finishing drives.”