Big-play Panthers overwhelm Dragons
By JIM WALKER
Tribune Sports Editor
PROCTORVILLE — The one thing the Fairland Dragons didn’t want to see was big plays by the Chesapeake Panthers.
Unfortunately, the Panthers gave the Dragons an eyeful.
Chesapeake had plenty of big plays as they beat the rival Dragons 41-15 in an Ohio Valley Conference game.
Quarterback Austin McMaster was on the running and passing end of big plays for touchdowns and Patrick Hintz used a long kickoff return to set up his own touchdown as Chesapeake improved to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in the OVC.
“Offensively, the whole game we played well. We got on them a little at the half and we played better defensively in the second half,” said Panthers’ coach Andy Clark.
Fairland (3-5, 2-1) pinned the Panthers back on the 1-yard line with a punt, but on the very next play McMaster ran 99 yards for the touchdown and a 6-0 lead.
“We knew coming in that we had to stop the big play and we didn’t. We played well for about two quarters, but they beat us up front. The credit goes to Chesapeake. The better ball team won tonight,” said Fairland coach Dave Carroll.
“They made the plays when they had to all night.”
Chesapeake went on a 49-yard, 11-play drive on their next possession with Brandon Noble running 11 yards for the score. McMaster added the conversion run and it was 14-0.
The Dragons then embarked on a 55-yard, eight-play drive of their own capped by an outstanding catch by Blaine Edwards for a 14-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Sowards.
Nathan Campbell’s conversion kick made it 14-7 and the Dragons were back in the game.
But Hintz returned the kickoff 75 yards to the Fairland 22-yard line and three plays later he went 14 yards for the score and a 21-7 halftime lead.
“We were in the game and had some momentum and that kickoff return killed us,” said Carroll.
Chesapeake took over in the second half and opened up a 35-7 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Hintz went 3 yards for his second TD with 7:38 left in the third quarter.
The defense held and got the ball back at its own 39. After no gain on first down, McMaster hit Javon Thompson for a 61-yard scoring pass and a 21-0 lead.
“We didn’t have the football in the first half. In the second half we got stops defensively and gave ourselves more opportunities on offense,” said Clark.
Chesapeake put the game away with a long 70-yard, eight-play drive capped by Hintz who scored his third touchdown from 9 yards out with 8:32 to play.
Fairland closed out the scoring on a 17-yard run by Jalen Brooks with 59 seconds left. He also ran for the conversion.
McMaster ran just five times for 123 yards and he was 3 of 6 passing for 91 yards.
Chesapeake had 434 total yards with 343 coming on the ground. Noble had 64 yards on 10 carries, Nate Jones 77 on nine attempts and Hintz 63 yards on eight carries.
Fairland had 225 total yards with 151 coming on the ground. Tyree Ceasar had 59 yards on 12 carries. Sowards was 5 of 11 passing for 74 yards but was intercepted three times.
With the win the Panthers will keep the traveling Joe Smith Helmet trophy to signify the winner of the rivalry game.
“That’s an emotional thing for the seniors to keep. That’s one of our goals at the beginning of the year,” said Clark. “We’re just glad to get out of here with a win.”
Chesapeake 6 15 14 6 = 41
Fairland 0 7 0 8 = 15
Ch – Austin McMaster 99 run (kick failed) 9:00
Ch – Brandon Noble 11 run (Austin McMaster run) 6:48
Fa – Blaine Fuller 14 pass from Kyle Sowards (Nathan Campbell kick) 3:16
Ch – Patrick Hintz 14 run (Jacob Wells kick) 2:00
Ch – Patrick Hintz 3 run (Jacob Wells kick) 7:38
Ch – Javon Thompson 61 pass from Austin McMaster (Jacob Wells kick) 5:38
Ch – Patrick Hintz 9 run (kick failed) 8:32
Fa – Jalen Brooks 17 run (Brooks run) 0:59
First downs 15 11
Rushes-yards 39-343 42-151
Passing yards 91 74
Total yards 434 225
Cmp-Att-Int 3-6-0 5-11-3
Fumbles-lost 2-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 9-60 2-15
Punts-average 1-28.0 4-31.8
RUSHING–Chesapeake: Austin McMaster 5-123, Brandon Noble 10-64, Nate Jones 9-77, Dylan Nichols 2-8, Patrick Hintz 8-63, Chad Meadows 1-7, Josh Browning 1-minus 3, Jacob Collins 3-4; Fairland: Eric Riley 7-34, Tyree Ceasar 12-59, Kyle Sowards 7-minus 15, Evan Maddox 8-20, Nathan Campbell 3-6, Cody Midkiff 2-17, Bill Murphy 1-3, Jalen Brooks 2-27.
PASSING–Chesapeake: Austin McMaster 3-6-0 91; Fairland: Kyle Sowards 5-11-3 74.
RECEIVING–Chesapeake: Tommy Noble 1-15, Javon Thompson 2-76; Fairland: Blaine Fuller 5-74.