RIDGEWAY — It rained cats and dogs on William Fleming’s football team on the way to Magna Vista High School on Friday.
Once the game started, it rained points.
Magna Vista scored early and often, turning a matchup of early-season Timesland unbeatens into a rout as running back Louis Taylor and quarterback Dryus Hairston each accounted for three touchdowns in a 55-14 nondistrict win over the Colonels.
For the second time in three weeks, Taylor scored on Magna Vista’s first play from scrimmage, breaking loose for a 47-yard run and a 7-0 lead.
“When you can do that, that helps,” Magna Vista coach Joe Favero said. “You start the game with a quick stop, go right down the field and score, and never let off the gas.”
Fleming’s needle was still on empty by the time Magna Vista (3-0) had 35 points with 10 minutes, 4 seconds still showing in the second quarter.
The Colonels forced a punt on the Warriors’ second possession, and punter Jacob Kerrick dropped the snap.
However, Kerrick scooped up the ball and raced 10 yards for a first down to keep the home team in business.
“He’s a pretty good athlete,” Favero said. “He’s got a lot of speed. He made a great play in space. He had to beat a kid to pick up the first.”
Taylor ended the drive with a 2-yard run for a 14-0 lead.
Hairston, a 6-foot-3 junior quarterback, followed that with a pair of 27-yard TD passes to 6-foot-3 receiver Ty Grant for a 28-0 bulge.
Hairston finished 8 of 13 for 104 yards, all in the first half.
He ended the half with a 5-yard TD run for a 48-7 lead, following a 24-yard laser that receiver Freddie Roberts somehow snagged under heavy contact.
The Magna Vista QB said the Warriors were motivated for their home opener after a lackluster 20-6 win last week at Dan River.
“We had to bounce back,” Hairston said. “We had a good week of practice. When we have a good week of practice, we come out and play, every time.
“The receivers did a good job getting open and fighting for the ball. The line, they gave me time. I just had to do what I had to do. We were expecting more of a challenge because they were 2-0 too, but hey, we just punted them in the mouth.”
Hairston shared the starting quarterback job in 2018 when Magna Vista finished with a rare losing season at 5-6.
He is running the show now.
“He looks in control back there,” Favero said. “He understands exactly the looks we want. He understands what we’re trying to do. Sometimes in practice he throws the ball so hard I’ll say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to take a little bit off. You’re going to hurt some kids.’”
Taylor carried the ball just six times for 65 yards, all in the first half.
Sophomore Tyler Johnson was impressive with 55 yards on four carries, including a 25-yard TD run in the first half.
Battering ram Kylan Brown led the Warriors with 74 yards rushing on eight attempts, blasting 27 yards for a 55-7 lead with 6:35 left in the third quarter.
Fleming was left beaten and bruised.
Junior running back Deuce Anderson injured an ankle early in the first half and did not return.
Speedster Sae’Quan Bannister caught an 88-yard TD pass from Dashawn Lewis in the first half, but he was injured on a horse-collar tackle in the end zone and did not play in the second half.
Almost nothing went right for the Colonels, who play rival Patrick Henry next Friday.
“All bad calls and my mistakes as a coach,” Fleming coach Jamar Lovelace said. “I didn’t get them ready to play tonight and I’m going to fix that next week.