The Central Virginia high school football season officially ended Friday night after another entertaining and exciting fall campaign.
From the first practices in early August to the final games in November, there were plenty of memories made.
The Daily Progress would like to take a look back on some of the great moments and accomplishments by local student-athletes, coaches and teams from the 2019 season. Here’s a list of top five milestones that won’t soon be forgotten.
Back-to-back state champions
In 2017, the Covenant football program didn’t have enough players to comfortably field an 11-man football team and was on the verge of shutting down. Two years later, the Eagles have become the standard by which all 8-man programs in the state are measured after successfully defending their Virginia Independent Schools Football League title.
Quarterback Jonas Sanker amassed more than 2,700 yards from scrimmage and was responsible for more than 50 touchdowns to lead the Eagles to their second straight undefeated season.
Defensively, Coach Seth Wilson’s team yield just 19 points a game and posted three shutouts as the Eagles improved to 21-0 since moving to 8-man football.
Rucker hits 2,000 yards for season
Last fall, Dupree Rucker rushed for 654 yards as a complementary piece in the running game to former quarterback Alex Kinsey.
The senior running back more than doubled that output this season as the featured back in Coach Jon Rocha’s offense. Rucker rushed for a Central Virginia-best 2,060 yards and 19 touchdowns in 11 games to lead the Greene Dragons to the Region 3B playoffs.
He ran for more than 200 yards in seven games and eclipsed Cordell Burley’s school record for single-season rushing yards (1,931) yards set back in 1991. In addition, Rucker became the 10th Central Virginia running back since 1999 to eclipse the 2,000-yard plateau in a season and the first since Takeem Hedgeman rushed for 2,838 yards in 14 games for Monticello in 2007.
Jefferson District dominance
The Louisa County football team won its third straight Jefferson District championship in dominating fashion.
The Lions extended their winning streak against district opponents to 20 games with another undefeated season.
The Lions’ last loss to a district foe was a 54-42 defeat to Charlottesville on Nov. 4, 2016.
Louisa County finished the regular season unbeaten for the third straight season and reached the Region 4B semifinals for the fourth straight season behind a strong senior class led by Jarett Hunter, Austin Sims, Aaron Aponte, Alex Washington, Derrick Barbour and Noah Robinson.
Alexander the great
There are few things as enjoyable to watch as Jaylen Alexander shredding defenses for big gains.
The Orange County senior capped a sensational high school career with his fourth straight 1,000-yard campaign for a Hornets team just missed the Region 4B playoffs.
Alexander rushed for 1,524 yards and 20 touchdowns this season to eclipse the 1,500 mark for the second time in three seasons with the Hornets.
He rushed for a career-high 1,541 yards and 18 touchdowns as a sophomore and added 1,389 yards and 10 scores as a junior.
He finished his Hornets career with 4,454 yards and 48 touchdowns to rank among the program’s top ball carriers.
As a freshman, he rushed for 1,018 yards and 12 touchdowns at St. Anne’s-Belfield.
The senior finished his high school career with 5,472 yards and 60 touchdowns to rank second on the all-time Central Virginia rushing list behind Hedgeman (6,383).
Fork Union returns to playoffs
Prior to this season, the last time the Fork Union Military Academy prep football team had qualified for the VISAA Division I state playoffs was 2012.
Mark Shuman and the Blue Devils ended that drought this fall.
The former FUMA offensive lineman guided his alma mater back to postseason play in his first season in charge of the program this fall.
The Blue Devils posted five wins and gave eventual champion St. Christopher’s all they could handle in a 28-14 loss in the state semifinals.
Some of the highlights included a big October that featured Hadley White’s game-winning field goal to beat Trinity Episcopal 24-22 at home.
The following week, Elijah Hawkes caught four touchdown passes, including the game winner in the fifth overtime, to beat Collegiate 55-52.
Montigo Moss, the son of NFL Hall of Famer Randy Moss, led Central Virginia with 57 receptions for 1,274 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Quarterback Alex Williams threw for an area-best 2,154 yards and 21 touchdowns.