FAIRLAND - Senior quarterback Casey Robertson almost single-handedly led the Fairland Owls to their first District A-7 victory Thursday night with a 31-13 victory over the Quapaw Wildcats.
With the win coach Choo Thomas' Owls stand 3-5 on the season and 1-3 in the district. The loss dropped the Wildcats to 3-5 on the year and 1-4 in district action.
Fairland travels to Oklahoma Union for a district game on Oct. 26 while Quapaw hosts Springfield (Mo.) Christian in a non-district contest.
After neither team moved the ball on their opening possessions, the first quarter ended with the Owls mounting a 74-yard drive that spilled into the second quarter.
Just 13 seconds into the second period, Robertson found flanker Jordan Alexander open on a 20-yard touchdown pass. Robertson kicked the extra point to give Fairland a 7-0 lead.
Quapaw didn't pick up their first 1st down until starting a drive on their own 19-yard line with 10:36 left in the second quarter.
Behind the running of senior tailback Clayton Hart, the Wildcats moved all the way to Fairland's 14-yard line. Hart gained 58 yards on six carries during the drive.
But Fairland's defense stiffened and on a 4th-and-1 call, Quapaw quarterback Joey Bowling mishandled the snap and was tackled for a loss to halt the drive.
Covering 82 yards in nine plays, the Owls consumed more than six minutes on the clock before Chuck Cassinelli bulled over from 1-yard out with 12 seconds until halftime. Robertson's PAT gave the Owls a 14-0 halftime cushion.
An interception by Fairland linebacker Tyler Spencer killed Quapaw's opening drive to start the third quarter.
Robertson (5-10, 170) took the snap on the second play and darted 39 yards for a touchdown. The point-after by Robertson increased Fairland's lead to 21-0 with 10:17 left in the third quarter.
Relying on the running of Hart, the Wildcats marched 54 yards in seven plays to put points on the scoreboard. Hart culminated the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run with 7:44 left in the third quarter. Bowling's two-point conversion pass failed as the Wildcats trailed by a 21-6 deficit.
Completing passes of 23 and 16 yards to sophomore wide receiver J. C. Morrow, Robertson moved Fairland 65 yards in 10 plays before Cassinelli was tackled at the 3-yard line to stall the drive.
Robertson kicked the 20-yard field goal with 3 minutes left in the third quarter to produce a 24-6 Owls lead.
Taking advantage of a minus-10 yard punt by Quapaw's Josh Cook, the Owls needed only three plays to go 15 yards for a score.
Robertson crashed over from the 3-yard line and then kicked the extra point with just 26 seconds left in the third quarter as the Owls' lead swelled to a 31-6 margin.
The Wildcats mounted a 63-yard drive to a 1st-and-goal situation at the Quapaw 9-yard line in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter.
But the Fairland defense stuffed two runs by Hart and forced Bowling to throw two incomplete passes to end the scoring threat.
With time winding down, Quapaw covered 73 yards in five plays before Bowling scored on a 20-yard touchdown run. Cook kicked the extra point with 35 seconds left to conclude the scoring.
The Owls rushed for 287 yards on 52 carries and completed 4 of 10 passes for another 75 yards.
Cassinelli led the Owls ground game with 125 yards on 21 carries while Robertson added 106 yards on 20 carries. Short contributed 54 yards on nine carries.
Morrow caught three passes for 53 yards to lead Fairland.
Hart led all rushers with 139 yards on 17 carries as Quapaw amassed 264 total yards.
Bowling completed 5 of 11 passes for 86 yards.