Fairview trounces Tigers
Fairview continued their recent mastery over the Marshall County Tigers (2-4, 1-3 District) on the gridiron, as MCHS suffered a 62-28 road loss at the hands of the Yellow Jackets on Friday night.
Having defeated the Tigers each of the last three years, Fairview (5-2, 4-1 District) drew first blood and grabbed a 7-0 lead on a 13-yard touchdown run by Levi McDonald with 6:57 left in the opening quarter.
Marshall County quarterback Austin Stacey connected with sophomore wide out Chris Walker for a 71-yard touchdown strike to cut the deficit to 7-6, but the Yellow Jackets blocked the extra point attempt before reaching the end zone on their next three possessions to open up a 27-6 advantage midway through the second quarter.
After Stacey scored on a seven-yard touchdown jaunt and ran in the two-point conversion to narrow the gap to 27-14 late in the first half, Fairview failed to pick up a first down on their ensuing drive and were forced to punt.
The Tigers, however, mishandled the kick and the Yellow Jackets recovered the ball at the MCHS 10. Fairview then cashed in on the Marshall County miscue when Garrett Wall hit Deondre Moore in the end zone on a three-yard halfback pass to give the Yellow Jackets a 34-14 lead at halftime.
Malik Crawford caught a 10-yard TD pass from Stacey on the Tigers' opening possession of the second half to cut the deficit to 34-21, but the Yellow Jackets blew the game open by scoring touchdowns on their next three drives to forge a 55-21 advantage with 8:00 left in the fourth quarter.
Marshall County closed the gap to 55-28 on a five-yard touchdown jaunt by Kevin Peterson before Jason Steele scored on a 23-yard TD run in the waning moments of the contest to cap Fairview's 34-point triumph.
The Yellow Jackets stung MCHS with a number of big plays and amassed 597 yards of total offense. Fairview moved the ball almost at will on the ground and churned out 422 yards rushing while averaging nearly eight yards per carry.
"Guys were in position to make plays, but didn't make them," said Marshall County coach Aaron Pitts. "We have to get better on defense and start tackling better. We have to do a better job coaching them and it starts with me because I'm the head coach."
Tailback Julian Franklin spearheaded the Yellow Jacket's running attack by rushing for 116 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries to go along with a 23-yard TD reception. Quarterback Jack Ramey also toted the ball 11 times for 77 yards, while Garrett Wall and Nic Harvey rushed for 59 and 55 yards respectively with Wall scoring one TD. Tommy Derrick tallied 29 yards and a touchdown on two carries as well and Brian Reynolds chipped in a one-yard TD run.
Ramey augmented Fairview's potent ground game by completing 11-of-13 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Moore led the Yellow Jackets' receiving corps with five catches for 59 yards, while Wall snared three passes for 39 yards.
The Tigers, conversely, finished with a modest 288 yards of total offense and committed three turnovers. Fairview controlled the line of scrimmage for much of the evening and recorded 11 tackles for loss, including three sacks, while limiting MCHS to 101 yards rushing on 27 carries.
Peterson paced Marshall County's ground game with 50 yards on three carries, while Stacey toted the pigskin 20 times for 49 yards.
Stacey was harassed by the Yellow Jackets' swarming pass rush for much of the evening and completed just 10-of-21 throws for 164 yards and two touchdowns to go along with a pair of interceptions. Kicker Aaron Medley also completed a 23-yard pass to Quantae Alderson on a fake punt in the first quarter.
Walker was Stacey's favorite target and hauled in four passes for 98 yards, while Crawford notched three catches for 30 yards. Peterson also tallied two receptions for 30 yards and Payne Smith had one catch for six yards.
Outside linebacker Brandon Outzen led the Tiger defense with 10 tackles and a sack, and Jalen Jones and Rakeem Alexander registered eight and six tackles respectively.
Alderson, Bryson Alexander, and Jay Murphy each notched five tackles as well, while Antonio Shelton and O'Shea Tears tallied four tackles apiece with Shelton recording a sack.
Marshall County returns to action this Friday night when they host District 12-AA foe Summit at 7:00 p.m. for Homecoming.