Fairland surprises Rock Hill in OVC race, 19-7
PEDRO -- Fairland coach Bryan Ward proved to be quite a prophet.
"We told (the players) all week we could beat them, and when we got that first score we began to believe we could win," said Ward after the Fairland Dragons stunned the Rock Hill Redmen 19-7 in an Ohio Valley Conference game Friday.
Rock Hill came into the game needing a win to set up a season-ending showdown with Chesapeake for the OVC championship. Now the Redmen (6-3, 3-1) must beat Chesapeake Friday to claim a share of the title.
Fairland improved to 4-5 on the year and 2-2 in the league.
"This is a great win for our kids. If we beat River Valley next week we can finish well going into the offseason and that would be great for our young kids," said Ward.
Rock Hill outgained the Dragons 249 to 242, but the Dragons
beat the Redmen at the own game: running the football. Fairland had 231 yards on the ground while Rock Hill was held to just 96 yards.
Redmen quarterback Steven Daily hit 12 of 33 for 153 yards but suffered the four interceptions.
Ward credited the offensive line of center Pat Pemberton, guards Matt Dawson and Brad Malone, and tackles Zacc Russell and Kory Smoot for the offensive performance.
"Our line is starting to come together. We moved some guys around and we played awful well," said Ward. "We just pounded it out. We got in a situation where we knew what they were going to do and we could stop them. It was a total team effort."
The Fairland secondary knocked down eight passes to go along with the four interceptions. Tyler Bowman had two picks, Steven Wright got one at the Redmen 5-yard line, and Sam Huff grabbed one in the end zone, his eighth theft of the season.
"(Assistant) coach (Brent) Snyder put in 4-3 scheme with man cover and the secondary played well. If helped us get some heat on the quarterback and he put the ball in the air and we picked four. We had a couple of chances to intercept two more," said Ward.
Fairland opened the scoring with a 79-yard, six-play drive that ended when Bowman dashed 48 yards up the middle. He also kicked the extra point to make it 7-0.
Rock Hill answered with a 64-yard, five-play march that was capped by James Russell's 24-yard touchdown run. Matt McFann kicked the extra point and it was 7-7 at the 2:50 mark.
The score remain that way until Bowman's first interception set up his own 25-yard touchdown run with 3:14 left in the third quarter. The conversion kick was blocked and it was 13-7.
After beginning a drive in the third quarter, Fairland got a touchdown to start the fourth quarter as Bowman ran 16 yards for the score.
Bowman, who began the season as the Fairland quarterback, completed two passes to Huff to aid the 70-yard, seven-play scoring drive that put the lead at 19-7.
Fa -- Tyler Bowman 48 run (Tyler Bowman kick)
RH -- 2:50
James Russell 24 run (Matt McFann kick) 2:50
Fa -- Tyler Bowman 25 run (kick blocked)
Fa -- Tyler Bowman 16 run (pass failed) 11:16
RUSHING -- Fairland: Tyler Bowman 24-119, C. J. Stewart 20-93, Steven Wright 3-17, Casey Adkins 3-2. Rock Hill: James Russell 7-64, Aaron Hankins 10-48, Kenny Elswick 1-6, Robbie McClellan 1-0, Steven Daily 6-minus 22.
PASSING -- Fairland: Tyler Bowman 2-2-0
21. Rock Hill: Steven Daily 12-324
153, Derrick Robinson 0-1-0.
RECEIVING -- Fairland: Sam Huff 2-21. Rock Hill: Robbie McClellan 6-82, David Schug 3-31, Gabe Ruggles 1-23, Roger Joseph 1-9, Aaron Hankins 1-8.