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Fairland gets last-second touchdown to win, 27-21

Fairland Dragons’ wide receiver Reily Sowards (10) makes a 28-yard touchdown catch with three seconds to play that gave his team a 27-21 win on Friday over Ironton. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

The Fairland Dragons controlled the clock and in turn controlled the outcome.
The Dragons effectively used their screen passing game mixed with some runs to control the clock and beat the Ironton Fighting Tigers 27-21 in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Friday.
Quarterback Joel Lambiotte didn’t throw the ball down the field but four times, but he did go down the middle with three seconds left to hit Reily Sowards with a 28-yard touchdown pass that snapped a 21-21 tie.
Lambiotte was 23-of-28 passing for 259 yards and an interception and Keedrick Cunningham ran 19 times for 115 yards and a score while catching build a 13-7 first half lead.eight passes for 73 yards.
Fairland (1-2, 1-0) ran 75 to just 32 for Ironton (1-2, 0-1).
“There are no excuses. We couldn’t stop them. They have some talent. They executed their short game really well and made big plays when they needed,” said Ironton coach Mark Vass.
“We moved the ball well and scored when we had it, but we just didn’t have it enough plays.”
Ironton ran for 167 yards and quarterback Gage Salyers was 3-of-5 passing for 64 yards and a touchdown. He ran 12 times for 89 yards. Garrett Carrico had eight carries for 54 yards and a score.
After trailing 13-7 at the half, Ironton came out and went 59 yards in just five plays to take a 14-13 lead. Carrico had a 32-yard run and Salyers ran for 21 yards and 7 more for the touchdown with 10:13 on the clock.
Izack Unger boomed the extra point.
Ironton extended the lead to 21-13 on a 17-yard scoring burst by Carrico with 5:56 to play. The run capped a quick 50-yard, 5-play drive.
The Dragons answered with an 81-yard, 9-play march as Cunningham ran 15 yards for the score. He then faked a run, stopped and threw a jump ball pass to Chase Fisher for the game-tying conversion with 2:51 left.
Ironton went three-and-out on its next possession to give Fairland the ball at its own 30 with 1:45 to play.
It took seven plays to get to the Ironton 28 and then Lambiotte found Sowards over the middle in the end zone.
Fairland took the opening kickoff and ate up most of the first quarter with a 73-yard, 19-play drive capped by Cunningham’s 3-yard run. Tayton Hunt kick the conversion at the 2:24 mark.
The key play in the drive was a 10-yard scramble by Lambiotte on a fourth-and-8 at the Ironton 13.
Fairland went up 13-0 on the second play of the second quarter when Greg Keeney caught a screen pass and ran 60 yards for a touchdown.
Ironton answered three plays later when Salyers hit Reid Carrico running free in the secondary for a 61-yard touchdown pass play. Unger kicked the conversion with 9:49 left in the half.
The Dragons mounted another threat with a drive to the Ironton 13.
A block below the waist penalty moved the ball back to the 30 but the Dragons got to the 8-yard line. On fourth-and-5, Tanner Wilson came up with an 8-yard sack to end the drive with 1:2 to play in the half.
Next Friday, Ironton visits Ashland and Fairland hosts Waverly.
Fairland     7    6    0    14    =    27
Ironton     0    7    7    7    =    21
First Quarter
Fa — Keedrick Cunningham 3 run (Tayton Hunt kick) 2:24
Second Quarter
Fa — Greg Keeney 60 pass from Joel Lambiotte (pass failed) 11:17
Irn — Reid Carrico 61 pass from Gage Salyers (Izack Unger kick) 9:49
Third Quarter
Irn — Gage Salyers 7 run (Izack Unger kick) 10:13
Fourth Quarter
Irn — Garrett Carrico 17 run (Izack Unger kick) 5:56
Fa — Keedrick Cunningham 15 run (Chase Fisher pass from Keedrick Cunningham) 2:51
Fa — Reily Sowards 28 pass from Joel Lambiotte (kick failed) 0:03
——
Fa    Irn
First downs    24    10
Rushes-yards    47-185    27-167
Passing yards    259    64
Total yards    444    231
Cmp-Att-Int    23-28-1    3-5-0
Fumbles-lost    1-0    0-0
Penalties-yards    5-52    0-0
Punts-average    1-29.0    3-43.3
——
Individual Leaders
RUSHING — Fairland: Keedrick Cunningham 19-115, Chase Fisher 8-44, Ty Wilcoxon 5-14, Joel Lambiottte 14-18, Greg Keeney 1-minus 1; Ironton: Gage Salyers 12-89, Garrett Carrico 8-54, Jordan Grizzle 319, Ethan Duncan 1-4, Tanner Wilson 1-2, Seth Fosson 2-minus 1.
PASSING — Fairland: Joel Lambiotte 23-28-1 259; Ironton: Gage Salyers 3-5-0 64.
RECEIVING — Fairland: Keedrick Cunningham 8-73, Ty Wilcoxon 6-28, Chase Fisher 5-35, Reily Sowards 3-63, Greg Keeney 1-60; Ironton: Reid Carrico 2-66, Garrett Carrico 1-minus 2.