Dragons edge Senators in season opener, 28-27

Published 9:31 pm Sunday, August 22, 2021

Fairland Dragons’ Zander Schmidt (8) grabs Portsmouth West wide receiver Casey Doerr (19) as he makes the stop during Saturday’s season opener. Schmidt scored the winning touchdown as Fairland edged West 28-27. (Photo By TIm Gearhart)

Jim Walker

PORTSMOUTH — Now that’s a season opener!
There were plenty of big plays and excitement as the Fairland Dragons edged the Portsmouth West Senators 28-27 on Saturday in the season opener in a game decided by a missed extra point.
The game was scoreless until just 16 seconds were left in the first quarter as Peyton Jackson hit Brycen Hunt with a 22-yard touchdown pass for the Dragons. Alex Bruce kicked the conversion and it was 7-0.
Fairland fumbled the snap and lost the ball with nine minutes left in the half. West put together a 55-yard, 11-play drive and scored on a 4-yard pass from Mitchell Irvin to Brandon Anderson. Landon Perkins kicked the point after with 3:29 left in the half.
It didn’t take long for the next score as the Senators’ Jeffrey Bishop returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown and Perkins’ kick put West up 14-7.
Fairland answered with a 40-yard kickoff return and a 28-yard pass from Jackson to Steeler Leep to the West 18-yard line and two plays later J.D. Brumfield ran 9 yards for a touchdown with just 23 seconds left in the half. Bruce’s conversion kick tied the game at 14-all.
But West got a 23-yaed run by Ryan Sissel and a 34-yard pass to Cole Tipson to the 1-yard line that set up Sissel’s 1-yard run and it was 20-14 with no time on the clock. However, the conversion kick failed.
The Senators took a 27-14 lead on a 66-yard pass from Irwin to Jesse Dixon with 5:53 on the scoreboard. Perkins added the conversion kick.
Fairland answered with a quick drive capped by Zander Schmidt’s 7-yard scoring run with 2:40 left in the third quarter. Bruce’s kick got the Dragons within 27-21.
West drove from its own 27 to the Dragons’ 19 with a 15-play drive. But on third-and-6, the Senators had a false start and a fourth down pass was caught for enough yardage to get the first down but the receiver was clearly out of bounds.
The defensive stand shifted the momentum and it was Schmidt who came up with the biggest play of the game for the Dragons as he hooked up with Jackson on a quick middle screen that he turned into a 68-yard catch-and-run to score with 5:13 to play.
Bruce then provided the margin of victory with the extra point kick.
The statistics reflected the close score as Fairland had 134 yards rushing to 159 for West, 148 passing to the Senators’ 132 making the total yards 282 for the Dragons and 291 for West.
Jackson was 7-of-15 passing for 148 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Brumfield ran 15 times for 85 yards while Schmidt caught three passes for 93 yards and a score.
Sissel carried 23 times for 112 yards and a TD to pace West. Irwin hit 7-of-12 passes for 132 yards
Fairland 7 7 7 7 = 28
Ports. West 0 20 7 0 = 27
First Quarter
Fa – Brycen Hunt 22 pass from Peyton Jackson (Alex Bruce kick) 0:16
Second Quarter
PW – Brandon Anderson 4 pass from Mitchell Irwin (Landon Perkins kick) 3:29
PW – Jeffrey Bishop 42 interception return (Landon Perkins kick) 2:08
Fa – J.D. Brumfield 9 run (Alex Bruce kick) 0:23
PW – Ryan Sissel 1 run (kick failed) 0:00
Third Quarter
PW – Jesse Dixon 66 pass from Mitchell Irwin (Landon Perkins kick) 5:53
Fa – Zander Schmidt 7 run (Alex Bruce kick) 2:40
Fourth Quarter
Fa – Zander Schmidt 68 pass from Peyton Jackson (Alex Bruce kick) 5:13
First downs 14 14
Rushes-yards 32-134 41-159
Passing yards 148 132
Total yards 282 291
Cmp-Att-Int 7-15-2 7-12-0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-1
Penalties-yards 3-25 6-51
Punts-average 3-38.7 4-36.0
Individual Leaders
RUSHING — Fairland: J.D. Brumfield 15-85 TD, Peyton Jackson 9-40, Zander Schmidt 3-minus 1, Zion Martin 4-14, team 1-minus 4; Portsmouth West: Ryan Sissel 23-112 TD, Jeffrey Bishop 6-26, Brandon Barfield 5-16, Ashton Klaiber 1-8, Mitchell Irwin 6-minus 3.
PASSING — Fairland: Peyton Jackson 7-15-2 148 2-TD; Portsmouth West: Mitchell Irwin 7-12-0 132 2-TD.
RECEIVING — Fairland: Zander Schmidt 3-93 TD, Steeler Leep 1-28, Brycen Hunt 1-22 TD, J.D. Brumfield 2-5; Portsmouth West Jesse Dixon 2-84 TD, Cole Tipton 2-37, Brandon Anderson 2-9 TD, Jeffrey Bishop 1-2.

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