FAIRLAND — Finishing the season on a very positive note, Fairland held on for a 48-44 victory over Hulbert here Friday, Nov. 3.
“It was a great win,” Fairland head coach Kent Marshall said. “The kids fought hard and overcame one player suspended and a couple more hurt in the fourth quarter.”
Fifteenth-ranked Hulbert had started its season 7-1, but dropped its final three games.
Fairland snapped a four-game losing streak and closed its season at 4-6.
“We started seeing a different mentality last week against Rejoice (a 30-20 loss) and the kids backed it up with a great performance against Hulbert,” Marshall said. “The coaches kept them focused and we finally got a win that hopefully helps us turn the corner.
The Owls were up 40-28 heading into the fourth quarter, but turnovers and injuries let Hulbert get back into the game.
With 1:27 remaining and facing a fourth-and-2 at midfield, the Owls were prepared to punt.
“During a time out, Jose Garcia said ‘coach, trust us — we can get a first down,” Marshall said. “We went for it and Coach Johnson (assistant coach Jerry Johnson) put the ball in his hands and he plowed for 4 yards. Game over.”
Charles Reed rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries and Garcia contributed 128 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts.
Garcia also returned a kickoff 71 yards for a touchdown.
Powell had a rushing touchdown and teamed with Cole Cawlfield on a 44-yard scoring strike.
Cawlfield also returned an interception a school-record 79 yards for a TD, eclipsing the record held by FHS assistant Jordan Alexander.
“Defensively it was a great team effort except for 7:00 of the fourth quarter (when Hulbert staged its rally),” Marshall said.
James Handrich had 13 tackles while Ahkay Steers and Reed had 10 and nine, respectively.
“Our secondary played man most of the night and held their skill kids in check,” Marshall said. “Our defensive line was definitely undersized, but caused all kinds of problems for them.”
Marshall praised special teams players and said “we just want to thank our kids for sending our seniors out on a definite high. I was so proud of them. Owls for life.”