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Last-second touchdown rallies Dragons over Panthers, 30-26

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

CHESAPEAKE — Maybe facts don’t lie, but statistics can.
The Chesapeake Panthers put up the numbers to win but the Fairland Dragons made some key plays to offset the big offensive numbers as they rallied to score in the final seconds and post a 30-26 Ohio Valley Conference win last Friday.
The win earned the Panthers a berth in the Division IV Region 15 playoffs.
Fairland (6-4, 4-3) had 344 total yards with 185 coming on the ground as Michael Stitt ran 12 times for 111 yards.
Quarterback Joel Lambiotte was 12-of-16 passing for 159 yards and a touchdown. Reilly Sowards caught five passes for 59 yards and a score.
Chesapeake (5-5, 3-4) ran the ball 56 times for 535 yards. Kamren Harless carried 33 times for 282 yards and two touchdowns and Donald Richendollar had 16 carries for 170 yards and a score.
“We had our chances and didn’t take advantage of our opportunities,” said Panthers’ coach Andy Clark.
“We had some very untimely penalties. We shot ourselves in the foot too many times. We had a chance to put it away and we didn’t. But I can’t fault our effort. Our kids played hard.”
The Dragons jumped in front 10-0 on a 17-yard pass from Lambiotte to Sowards with 9:31 left in the first quarter and a 30-yard field goal by Alec Bruce at the 3:15 mark.
Chesapeake answered quickly as Harless exploded for an 88-yard touchdown run 21 seconds later. Brady Wilson’s conversion kick cut the spread to 10-7.
But the Dragons came right back with an 8-yard scoring run by J.D. Brumfield and it was 17-7 with 1:13 left in the first quarter.
Chesapeake drove for a score as Austin Browning hit Tylan Hutchison with a 3-yard touchdown pass with 6:08 left in the half.
Fairland extended the lead to 24-14 with just six seconds on the clock as Lambiotte went 6 yards for a touchdown.
The score was set up when Chesapeake had a fourth and 8 on the 30-yard line and Fairland came up with a strip sack and returned the ball to the Panthers’ 8-yard line.
The Panthers cut the deficit to 24-20 on a 44-yard scoring run with 3:14 to go in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Panthers were facing second down and 30 yards to go due to penalties when Donald Richendollar broke loose on an 80-yard run with 8:53 left in the game and it was 26-24.
But the Dragons drove to the Panthers’ 2-yard line where Michael Stitt scored with 33 seconds left and it was 30-26.
Fairland 17 7 0 6 = 30
Chesapeake 7 7 6 6 = 26
First Quarter
Fa — Reilly Sowards 17 pass from Joel Lambiotte (Alec Bruce kick) 9:31
Fa — Alec Bruce 30 field goal 3:15
Ch — Kamren Harless 88 run (Brady Wilson kick) 2:54
Fa — J.D. Brumfield 8 run (Alec Bruce kick) 1:13
Second Quarter
Ch — Tylan Hutchison 3 pass from Austin Browning (Brady Wilson kick) 6::08
Fa — Joel Lambiotte 6 run (Alec Bruce kick) 0:06
Third Quarter
Ch —Kamren Harless 44 run (kick failed) 3:14
Fourth Quarter
Ch — Donald Richendollar 80 run (run failed) 8:53
Fa — Michael Stitt 2 run (pass failed) 0:33
——
Fa Ch
First downs 13 16
Rushes-yards 26-185 56-535
Passing yards 159 3
Total yards 344 538
Cmp-Att-Int 12-16-0 1-7-1
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-1
Penalties-yards 4-30 7-70
Punts-average 1-28.0 1-42.0
——
Individual Leaders
RUSHING — Fairland: Michael Stitt 12-111, J.D. Brumfield 6-27, Joel Lambiotte 8-47; Chesapeake: Kamren Harless 33-283, Donald Richendollar 16-170, Austin Browning 5-74, Carson Nida 1-8, Tyler Eddy 1-0.
PASSING — Fairland: Joel Lambiotte 12-16-0 159; Chesapeake: Austin Browning 1-3-1 3, Donald Richendollar 0-4-0.
RECEIVING — Fairland: Reilly Sowards 5-59, Gavin Hunt 4-23, Michael Stitt 1-61, J.D. Brumfield 1-8, Zeke Ramey 1-8; Chesapeake: Tylan Hutchison 1-3.