AFTON — A PAT kick by Andrew Barker turned out to be the deciding point as Fairland slipped by Afton 7-6 here Friday, Oct 12.
“Their kids came out and battled from the get-go and our kids battled,” said Fairland coach Kent Marshall, who has played and coached in the rivalry game.
“It was just a good old back-and-forth defensive struggle,” he said.
Afton took advantage of a breakdown in the Owls’ secondary to get a 40-yard touchdown pass from Brett Fuser to Cole Mikesell with 1:43 left in the first quarter.
A run for the conversion was thwarted.
Fairland countered with a 25-yard pass from Dustin Reynolds to Cole Cawlfield at 1:39 of the second frame.
Barker then nailed the extra point to create what would be the final margin.
Barker missed a 38-yard field goal in the game.
“We won. It was just a typical Fairland-Afton game with Fairland on paper probably the better team, yet Afton always finds a way to come back and make it tough on us. They did,” Marshall said. “The thing we were pleased about was in the past, we always found a way to lose those games. Defensively it’s the first time in any ballgame I felt that they couldn’t score on us.”
Fairland’s win narrows the deficit in the rivalry to 55-28-2 dating back to at least 1926.
Four of the Eagles seven losses now have been by a total of 21 points.
The Eagles are 0-4 in District A-6.
Fairland evened its record overall and in district play to .500 (3-3 and 2-2).
Reynolds was Fairland’s rushing leader with 84 yards on 15 carries.
Jones completed two of nine passes for 16 yards.
Reynolds had the other throw, which resulted in the TD.
Cawlfield had two receptions for 33 yards and Thatcher Smalley netted 7 yards on his one reception.
Defensively, James Handrich led the Owls with 17 tackles.
Cawlfield had an interception.
Afton travels to Oklahoma Union while Fairland hosts Colcord on Thursday, Oct. 18.