Athens outscores Fairland, 55-46
PROCTORVILLE, Ohio — During practice this week, Fairland tried to simulate what it would see from Athens quarterback Joey Burrow.
Come game time Friday night, the Dragons found it difficult to contain Burrow and his bevy of receivers in person .
The 6-foot-4 junior completed 28 of 37 passes for 519 yards and eight touchdowns to power the Bulldogs (5-0) past Fairland (2-3), 55-46, in a true shootout at Jim Mayo Memorial Stadium.
“We made them beat us throwing the football,” firstyear Dragons coach Cullen Homolka said. “We took No. 2 (top rusher Trae Williams) out of it. It was frustrating. We changed up defenses in the second half. We had to go man to stop and they had some tough players to stop.” “He is the real deal,” Athens coach Ryan Adams said. “He makes it all happen. The guys up front do the job and he gets the ball to the right spots.” Heath Wiseman and Ryan Luehrman proved to the top targets for Burrows in the spread attack. Wiseman caught 12 passes for 279 yards and Luehrman grabbed 6 for 156.
Fairland and Athens traded scores early. On the kickoff after the Bulldogs scored to tie it at 14-14, the ball hit a Fairland player at the 15 and the visitors recovered. Burrow hooked up with Luehrman on a 15-yard TD pass on the first play and the Bulldogs went ahead to stay.
Fairland quarterback Chance Short hit on 28 of 39 passes for 279 yards.
Evan Maddox had a big night running and receiving. He had 22 carries for 182 yards and caught 7 passes for 69 yards. Nathan Campbell led in receptions with 9 for 137.
“We didn’t tackle as well as we should,” Adams said. “We knew No. 32 (Maddox) and No. 45 (Campbell) would get their touches. They’re shifty runners. They were hard to tackle. They have a nice offensive scheme.” For Fairland, the 49 points are the most it’s scored in a game this season.
The 49 points are the most allowed by the Bulldogs in a game, too.
Both teams begin conference play next week. Athens is is the Tri-Valley Ohio Division and goes to Wellston on Friday.
Fairland begins Ohio Valley Conference play next Friday at South Point.
“We had a three-week ringer,” Homolka said of successive games against Gallia Academy, Wheelersburg and Athens. The three schools have just one loss between them. “We’re ready to get after it in the OVC and show who we really are.”