Dragons slip past Senators for 2nd straight year
Published 2:42 am Wednesday, August 24, 2022
By Ryan Walker
For The Ironton Tribune
PROCTORVILLE — It was deja vu all over again.
For the second straight year, the Fairland Dragons slip past the Portsmouth West Senators in the same fashion.
The outcome of both games featured the same two things: a failed extra point attempt by the Senators and a late touchdown by the Dragons to get the comeback win.
“It was a great way to start the season,” said Fairland coach Melvin Cunningham. “It definitely was not pretty, but 1-0 feels a lot better than the alternative.
The Dragons first score was set up early in the game when West lined up in punt formation on their own 17 yard line. The snap back to the punter was fumbled and the Dragon defense was able to make a tackle on the punter, giving them the ball on the three yard line.
On the very next play, running back Zion Martin bulldozed his way through a couple West tacklers into the end zone to give the Dragons a 7-0 lead at the 3:22 mark of the first quarter.
The Senators would finally get on the scoreboard via the air.
Quarterback Mitchell Irwin connected with receiver Jeffery Bishop on a 65-yard strike to tie the ballgame up in the second quarter.
Irwin would again connect for a touchdown toss. This time to Cole Tipton on a 24-yard pass in the corner of the end zone. The extra point would be blocked by the interior of the Fairland defensive line to make the score 13-7 with :34 left in the third frame.
Irwin would throw for 202 yards on the night, completing 10 of 28 attempts to go along with his two touchdown throws.
Deep into the final quarter and facing a third and 11 on their own 19 yard line, Dragons quarterback Peyton Jackson would hit Keegan Smith for 45-yard gain and put the Dragons on the Senators 36 yard line.
Three plays later, Fairland would take the lead for good on a 38-yard strike by Jackson to Brycen Hunt to give the Dragons a 14-13 advantage with 5:50 left in the ballgame.
Fairland’s defense would stop the Senators next offensive possession with a fourth conversion try.
However, the Dragons would be forced to punt and West would have one more opportunity as they drove to the Dragon 29 with :21 remaining.
Fairland’s defense would force incompletions on first and second down, leavinf :09 left in the game.
On third down, Irwin’s desperation heave would be intercepted by Steeler Leep on the goal line to secure the win for the Dragons.
Fairland travels to Wellston next Friday night. Meanwhile the Senators have another big test next week as they play at Portsmouth.
Ports. West 0 7 6 0 = 13
Fairland 7 0 0 0 = 14
Fa — Zion Martin 3 run (Gabe Polcyn kick) 3:22
PW — Jeffery Bishop 65 pass from Mitchell Irwin (Carson Malnar kick)
PW — Cole Tipton 24 pass from Mitchell Irwin (Kick blocked) :34
Fa — Brycen Hunt 27 pass from Peyton Jackson (Gabe Polycn kick) 5:50
First downs 15 6
Rushes-yards 33-104 24-19
Passing yards 201 136
Total yards 305 155
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 6-30 7-60
Punts-Ave 5-34.6 9-34.8
Time of Possession 30:26 17:34
RUSHING—Portsmouth West: Ryan Sissel 18-55, Mitchell Irwin 11-43, Jeffery Bishop 3-11, Brandon Barfield 2-minus 11, Hyden Lore 2-5; Fairland: Zion Martin 7-9 TD, Mitchell Irwin 9-51, Kam Kitts 1-2.
PASSING—Portsmouth West: Mitchell Irwin 11-28-2 2TD; Fairland: Peyton Jackson 10-200 136 TD.
RECEIVING—Portsmouth West: Cole Tipton 2-36 TD, Ryan Sissel 1-20, Jeffery Bishop 4-87 TD, Alex Blevins 3-41, Brandon Barfield 2-17; Fairland: Brycen Hunt 5-83 TD, Kam Kitts 1-11, Steeler Leep 2-minus 1, Jack Hayden 1-3, Keegan Smith 1-40.