Dragons topple Redmen

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 18, 2003

PROCTORVILLE - If this were a TV show, the Fairland Dragons might be tempted to call it Dawson's Streak.

The Dragons have found a running game in recent weeks and a lot of the success is due to senior left guard Matt Dawson. Running behind the senior lineman helped Fairland rush for 227 yards and spark a fourth quarter comeback Friday that saw the Dragons knock off the Rock Hill Redmen 21-7 in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

"Matt keeps coming to me every week and saying 'Run behind me,'" Fairland coach Bryan Ward said. "And Matt's playing outstanding at defensive end. They're not running to his side. If they do, it's one yard to negative three all the time."

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The win gives Fairland a 6-3 record overall and 2-2 in the OVC. It also puts the Dragons in a position to qualify for the Division IV playoffs if they beat River Valley next week.

Rock Hill fell to 7-2 and 3-1 in the league. The Redmen, limited to just 145 total yards and a mere 10 the second half, are now in danger of missing the playoffs if they lose at Chesapeake next week. They also need a win to tie Chesapeake for the OVC title.

"That's a big win. The defensive effort the second half was outstanding.

Holding Rock Hill to 10 yards is saying something with the numbers they've put up all year," Ward said. "Our rushing effort was great. Whenever they went to that 7-diamond, the passing game opened up down the middle and that allowed the rushing game to take over."

Rock Hill went up 7-0 in the first quarter and the lead held up until the fourth quarter.

James Russell carried six times for 27 yards as the Redmen drove 65 yards on 13 plays to open the game. Kenny Elswick had a 1-yard scoring run with 6:23 to play in the quarter, then kicked the conversion to make it 7-0.

The Redmen had another scoring opportunity in the second quarter after recovering a muffed punt at the Fairland 25. But the drive stalled and Fairland took over on downs.

Rock Hill had its own defensive stop in the first quarter when Dan Mullins intercepted a Fairland pass at the 15-yard line on the Dragons first possession.

Fairland began a drive in the third quarter that ended on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Dragons went 64 yards on 13 plays, capped by C.J. Stewart's 6-yard run. Stewart also ran for the conversion and it was 8-7.

"It was a team effort. We're coming together at the right time and winning ball games," Stewart said.

Fairland's Adam Fuller had an interception in third quarter at 45-yard line to stop a Rock Hill drive in the early stages.

Fairland came back with a 70-yard, seven-play drive keyed by Tyler Bowman who carried twice for 42 yards including a 35-yard jaunt. Quarterback Michael Hill scored on a 5-yard keeper and his conversion kick gave the Dragons breathing room at 15-7 with 4:10 to play.

"The line is playing outstanding right now. They're blocking well. Give a lot of credit to Michael. He stands back in the pocket with a lot of poise," Bowman said.

The Dragons held the Redmen three straight series on four downs in the fourth quarter. The final time was at the Rock Hill 35 and Fairland scored six plays later on a fourth-and-12 pass from Hill to Sam Huff. Stewart carried three times for 23 yards in the drive.

"It was a tough game. It's been a heated rivalry lately," Redmen coach Bob McCollister said.

"We made more mistakes than Fairland and they were able to capitalize. The key was when we had a chance to score a couple of times early and they made a couple of defensive stands to keep us out of the end zone. The second half they wouldn't let our offense on the field."

Rock Hill7000-7


First Quarter

RH - Kenny Elswick 1 run (Kenny Elswick kick) 6:23

Fourth Quarter

Fa - C.J. Stewart 6 run (C.J. Stewart run) 11:56

Fa - Michael Hill 5 run (Michael Hill kick)


Fa - Sam Huff 12 pass from Michael Hill (kick blocked)


First downs:Rock Hill 9, Fairland19

Rushes-yards:Rock Hill 31-110, Fairland44-227

Passing yards:Rock Hill 35, Fairland90

Total yards:Rock Hill 145, Fairland317

Cmp-Att-Int:Rock Hill 4-19-1, Fairland8-20-1

Fumbles-lost:Rock Hill 0-0, Fairland1-1

Punts-average:Rock Hill 5-24.0, Fairland3-21.0

Penalties-yards:Rock Hill 6-36.5, Fairland2-25

Individual Leaders

RUSHING - Rock Hill: James Russell 20-75, Dan Mullins 8-41, Kenny Elswick 2-5, Steven Daily 1-minus 11. Fairland: C.J. Stewart 20-106, Tyler Bowman 15-108, Chance Adkins 1-20, Michael Hill 4-minus 7.

PASSING - Rock Hill: Steven Daily 4-19-1

35. Fairland: Michael Hill 8-20-1


RECEIVING - Rock Hill: Roger Joseph 4-35. Fairland: Sam Huff 6-57, Tyler Bowman 2-33.