Dragons use quick-strike offense to upset Panthers, 32-24

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2006

Tribune Sports Editor

CHESAPEAKE — The rain might have stopped, but the lightning didn’t.

The Fairland Dragons scored 24 points in a four-minute span to start the game and went on to upset the Chesapeake Panthers 32-24 Friday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

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“It was a mess in the middle of the field and they just kept coming out of there. We made too many mistakes. (Fairland) just kept coming out of the pack and scoring,” Panthers coach Phil Davis said.

“But we didn’t play well enough to win the ball game and they kept making big plays. But our kids didn’t quit. They didn’t quit all year.”

Chesapeake had seven fumbles and lost four. Fairland lost both its fumbles.

Fairland coach Brent Wilcoxon said it was his team’s ability to handle the muddy conditions that helped produce the win.

“We didn’t turn the ball over in the slop and we capitalized on their turnovers,” Wilcoxon said.

The loss cost the Panthers a share of the league championship and enabled South Point to win the title outright. Chesapeake ends 4-6 overall and 3-2 in the league.

South Point got past Rock Hill 7-6 to win the title outright. The Pointers only league loss was 28-7 to Chesapeake.

The win ends a season of close calls and frustration for the Dragons who go 2-8 overall and 2-3 in the OVC.

“For a 2-8 team, we came ready to play every game. I didn’t question whether we would be up,” Wilcoxon said.

“Our seniors kept saying they haven’t beaten them in nine years going back to the pee wee league.”

Fairland scored on its first possession when Jordan Kersey bolted 40 yards for a touchdown. Cole Hatfield ran for the conversion and an 8-0 lead.

Chesapeake then fumbled and Fairland used an end around pass from Jake Lucas to Matt Bloomfield for a 45-yard touchdown pass. Kersey added the conversion and it was 16-0.

The Panthers fumbled again on their possession and Kersey bolted 53 yards for a touchdown on the next play for the score. Kersey also ran for the extra points and it was 24-0 at the x:xx mark.

Chesapeake finally collected itself and scored on a 9-yard run by Mike Stapleton. Aaron Donohoe added the conversion and it was 24-8.

Neither team scored in the second quarter and then Fairland extended its lead to 32-8 on a 52-yard touchdown pass from Hatfield to Michael Lamb. Kersey ran for the conversion.

The Panthers tried to rally in the fourth quarter when Mike Stapleton ran 1-yard for a touchdown and Donohoe hit Kenny Morgan on a 55-yard scoring strike.

Kersey finished with 130 yards on 13 carries. Stapleton had 119 yards on 17 attempts to lead the Panthers while Donohoe added 75 yards and Bartoe 70.