Fork Union knew taking a game against AAA power Hermitage would be a tall order.
But even the Blue Devils couldn't have imagined what they saw Saturday afternoon at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake.
In front of a nationally televised audience on ESPN, the Panthers harassed Fork Union senior quarterback Christian Hackenberg en route to a 38-0 win.
The Hermitage defense sacked ESPN's top-rated high school quarterback six times and frustrated the Blue Devils offense.
"It was tough," Hackenberg said after the game. "We could never really catch a good momentum streak. It was just too choppy, and then again on defense we got burned on a couple plays that were just mental mistakes."
Hackenberg finished the day 13-of-27 for 141 yards.
The Blue Devils trailed 3-0 after one quarter but then watched as the Panthers reeled off 28 points in the second to lead 31-0 at half.
Panthers star running back Derek Green tallied 137 yards with two scores.
"Too many turnover, too many dumb mistakes. You don't give them a short field, I think 3 or 4 times it was 3rd and 18 and we gave them a first down, next time they scored a touchdown. You can't do that against a good football team, and they're a good football team with great speed, and they have a great program. We just put ourselves in too deep a hole that was too hard to dig out of," FUMA coach Micky Sullivan explained.
"We will be in better shape next week, that's one thing I can tell you. We'll play with a better tempo and get quicker up front."
"I think this is going to be one of the best teams we see all year so it's good being able to understand we were only a couple plays on offense we could have made away from being in the game," Hackenberg added. "We're close, but I think this next week is going to allow us to mesh a little more and get ready to go."
The Blue Devils travel to Georgetown Prep on Friday.