Peake wins fourth-straight over Dragons, 26-19
PROCTORVILLE, Ohio -- Two big plays and a complete offensive meltdown by Fairland late allowed Chesapeake to rattle off 19 unanswered points and snatch a 26-19 win over the Dragons Friday night.
It was technically a home game for Chesapeake. But, because the Panthers are having their stadium renovated, they are playing all of their games on the road this season, and wore their home purple on Fairland's field, seven miles down Ohio 7 from Chesapeake High School.
The Dragons took Chesapeake by surprise early, coming out in a spread formation and tossing the ball all over the place, while mixing in some runs out of the power-I.
A fast-moving, scoreless first half got interesting in the last three minutes when Fairland sophomore quarterback Chance Short rolled out to his right, bought time with his feet, then threw an 18-yard strike to Tyler Campbell to put the dragons up 7-0 late in the second quarter.
Chesapeake answered with a long kickoff return and a short drive, capped by a 6-yard touchdown run from Jacob Collins.
On the ensuing kickoff, Fairland's Tyree Ceasar went 70 yards for a score. The extra point was missed.
Twenty points were scored between the 3:34 and 2:38 minute marks in the second quarter, and Fairland went into the half with a 13-7 lead.
It looked to only get worse for Chesapeake, as Short connected on a 40-yard bomb Kyle Sowards early in the third quarter to go up 19-7.
"Obviously, we figured out we couldn't sit back in zone coverage," Chesapeake head coach Andy Clark said. "They were picking us apart."
Chesapeake was looking at a 1st-and-25 with less than four minutes to go in the third, when things shook loose.
Collins took a fullback dive play 64 yards for a touchdown.
After a bobbled snap on a punt attempt by Fairland, the Panthers tried the same play again, and this time Collins went 42 yards for the score.
"First down, early downs, I'm not really looking at down and distance," Clark said. "It was a play we had been running pretty well over the past few weeks, so we went to see if it was there and we executed and it worked out. We busted it open for two scores."
Collins finished with 130 yards and three TDs.
The extra point on the second score gave Chesapeake its first lead of the game at 20-19.
That's when the wheels came off for Fairland.
Short was sacked twice on the next two offensive possessions, and on a 3rd-and-12 threw a pass that was picked off by the Panthers' Brandon Clagg, who took it 48 yards the other way for a touchdown.
"We had to go man and go for broke and get some pressure there," Clark said. "We did a good job in the second half. We got to (Short) and, when he did throw the ball, we made plays on it."
Short would be sacked twice more, and throw another interception before the night was done. After throwing for 130 yards and two touchdowns by the middle of the third quarter, he would go one for his next eight attempts, with that one completion netting a loss of three yards.
Fairland got the ball back with a chance to put together a tying drive with 59 seconds left on the clock, but Short threw four straight incompletions, and the Panthers took over on downs.
The Dragons weren't helped by the 13 penalties they committed for 110 yards.
A horse-collar tackle negated a potential fumble recovery on the kickoff return that set up the Panthers' first touchdown. An offside call on fourth-and-short following Chesapeake quarterback Caleb Lindsey's hard-count extended a drive in the fourth quarter and took time off the clock. A series of offensive penalties negated what was a promising drive for the Dragons in the second half.
The win means this year's senior class at Chesapeake has never lost to their biggest rivals.
"That means a lot for them," Clarke said. "I have to take my hat off to (Fairland) coach (Dave) Carroll and his staff. His kids came out and played hard tonight, and really got on us in the first half. I feel like they whipped us in the first half for sure.
"But our kids didn't quit. I'm proud of them. The seniors really stepped up, which is something they've needed to do. We played to the end."
Chesapeake has won two straight games, and brought its record up to 3-4 on the season, while Fairland drops to 3-4. More importantly, Chesapeake moves to 2-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Dragons are now 1-1.
As for being road warriors, Clarke said his team isn't bothered by the lack of home games at this point in the season.
"This is week seven, at this point we're used to it," he said. "You don't have a choice, and we made a decision early on in the year we wouldn't complain about it or make it an excuse and we haven't."
FAIRLAND 0 13 6 0 -- 19
CHESAPEAKE 0 7 6 13_26
F -- Campbell 18 pass from Short (Vidal kick)
C -- Collins 6 run (Stephens kick)
F -- Ceasar 70-yard kick return (kick failed)
F -- Sowards 40 pass from Short (conversion failed)
C -- Collins 64 run (kick failed)
C -- Collins 42 run (Stephens kick)
C -- Clagg 48-yard interception return (kick failed)