Dragons down Coal Grove
COAL GROVE, Ohio — Coach Cullen Homolka believed Fairland could contend for an Ohio Valley Conference football championship in his first season.
The Dragons relied on their fast-paced attack from the spread formation to score on all five first-half possession Friday night on the way to a 44-27 victory over defending champion Coal Grove at Patterson Field to take the league lead outright.
“The offense was going so fast. It was so tough for them to react to,” Fairland senior Evan Maddox said. “The defense stepped it up. The best we’ve played so far.”
Nathan Campbell ran for two scores and caught one of three TD passes by Chance Short to lead Fairland’s balanced attack. The Dragons rushed for 223 yards and Short connected on 21 of 24 passes for 279. He completed his first 14 attempts.
The win was sweet for the Fairland seniors as it’s their first against the Hornets.
“Awesome,” shouted De’Vonte Bray, one of those happy seniors. “The first for the seniors. We finally did it.”
Fairland (5-3, 3-0 OVC) extended its winning streak to three and helped its Division V playoff chances. The Dragons have remaining games against Rock Hill and River Valley.
“We’ve definitely got something to play for,” Homolka said. “The next two weeks are big. We’ve got to grind it out. It’s not over.”
Fairland showed its desire on its first possession. On fourth-and-2 at its 39, the Dragons went for it and Maddox raced 59 yards up the middle. They would go on to score and maintain the upper hand all evening.
“The first half they did a good job on defense against the zone (read),” Holmoka said. “We had to respond and go to what would work next. Chance ran the offense and we have so many weapons. Everyone wants the ball.”
Coal Grove featured a strong running game out of a power set, but the Hornets couldn’t get untracked against Fairland.
“We did the job on defense,” Homolka said. “We took away the run and made them pass. We got Coal Grove out of their regular game and they struggled a little.”
The fact Coal Grove quarterback went to the air 32 times told the story. The Hornets (3-5, 2-1 OVC) had their winning streak snapped at three. They are home next Friday against Chesapeake.
“Their line played exceptionally well on both sides of the ball,” Hornets coach Dave Lucas said. “Their technique affected us so much. They’ve got so many kids that can run.”
FAIRLAND 18 13 7 6–44
COAL GROVE0 15 0 12–27
F–Maddox 1 run (run failed), 7:39.
F–Campbell 7 run (run failed), 2:29.
F–Sowards 26 pass from Short (run failed), 0:20.2.
CG–Miller 7 run (Joseph kick), 9:54.
F–Campbell 11 pass from Short (pass failed), 7:31.
F–Campbell 1 run (Damron kick), 1:54.
CG–Gunther 7 pass from Rigsby (Paulus pass from Rigsby)
F–Murphy 25 pass from Short (Damron kick), 10:56.
F–Short 8 run (kick failed), 10:46.
CG–Rigsby 11 run (pass failed), 5:00.
CG–Myers 7 pass from Carey (no PAT), 0:00.
First downs 24 18
Rushes-yards 39-223 38-144
Passing yards 279 261
Comp/Att/Int 21-24-0 16-32-0
Total offense 502 405
Fumbles/lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties 10-74 4-20
RUSHING–Fair: Maddox 19-131, Campbell 12-68, Short 4-10, Woodall 4-14. CG: Gunther 7-12, Rigsby 10-31, Tucker 14-48, Miller 6-33, Clark 1-20.
PASSING–Fair: Short 21-24-0, 279. CG: Rigsby 14-29-0, 199; Carey 2-3-0, 62.
RECEIVING–Fair: Campbell 5-45, Maddox 4-39, Sowards 9-127, Willis 1-9, Murphy 2-59. CG: Joseph 1-55, Myers 1-7, Akers 3-59, Paulus 2-22, Gunther 5-41, Markins 4-77.
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