Dragons use QB by committee to top Hornets
Published 8:23 am Saturday, October 15, 2022
By RYAN WALKER
For The Ironton Tribune
PROCTORVILLE — Most times in football, you hear about a running back-by-committee. Well in the case of the Fairland offense, it’s a quarterback by committee.
The Fairland Dragons used an array of players to take snaps to defeat the Coal Grove Hornets 21-6 on Friday night at Jim Mayo Memorial Stadium.
Fairland was without the services of Peyton Jackson, who suffered an injury in last week’s loss to Portsmouth and was unavailable for the Dragons.
So head coach Melvin Cunningham turned to a trio of Dragon players to take snaps: Steeler Leep, Brycen Hunt and Jack Hayden. The move turned out to be fruitful as the three accounted for 280 of the Dragons 292 yards of total offense.
The Dragons would open up the scoring with a 4-play, 63-yard drive that would be capped off with a 9-yard keeper by Leep off an option play to put the Dragons on the board. Gabe Polcyn’s extra point made the score 7-0 with 9:34 in the opening quarter.
After stopping the Hornets on a fourth down-and-5 play on their following possession, the Dragons would get the ball back at midfield.
The Dragons would only need two plays this time to take advantage of the defensive stop as Leep would score his second touchdown of the night.
On a second down-and-5 play,
Leep would follow the block of Zion Martin and break loose from the Hornet defense and race 45-yards into the end zone for the score. Polcyn would boot the extra point and the Dragons held a 14-0 lead with 5:09.
Coal Grove (5-4, 2-4 OVC) would mount a long, time-consuming drive. Starting on their own 38, the Hornets ran off 14 plays and drive to the Dragon 10 before being stopped on downs and give the ball back to Fairland.
The Dragon defense stuffed a potent Hornet rushing attack all night, limiting them to just 145 yards and holding Chase Hall to a season-low 74 yards and no touchdowns.
Hall ran 7 times in the second half — all in the third quarter — as Coal Grove was forced to take to the air.
Fairland (6-3, 3-3 OVC) would again halt Coal Grove’s next drive and get the ball back on their own 46 with 1:37 remaining in the half.
It would only take 4 plays for the Dragons to reach the end zone as Hunt did the honors this time with a 7-yard touchdown run to give the Dragons a 21-0 lead heading into the half.
Leep would headline the Fairland offense, carrying the ball 16 times for 191 yards, added a reception for 31 yards and also passed for 43 yards.
The Hornets would finally put a dent in the scoreboard as Kaden Murphy caught a pass from Wyatt Mannon, with Murphy making a leaping grab over a Fairland defender on the scoring play to cut the lead to 21-6 with 7:30 remaining in the game.
Mannon finished the game completing 9 of 19 passes for 115 yards to go along with his touchdown toss.
Fairland hosts Chesapeake next Friday and Coal Grove is at home against Rock Hill.
Coal Grove 0 0 0 6 = 6
Fairland 14 7 0 0 = 21
F — Steeler Leep 9 run (Gabe Polcyn kick) 9:34
F — Steeler Leep 45 run (Gabe Polcyn kick) 10:42
F — Brycen Hunt 7 run (Gabe Polcyn kick) :25
CG — Kaden Murphy 19 pass from Wyatt Mannon (kick failed) 7:30
First downs 13 13
Rushes-yards 33-145 29-202
Passing yards 115 90
Total yards 260 292
Cmp-Att-Int 9-19-0 6-10-0
Fumbles-lost 4-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 3-35 5-55
Punts-average 2-40.0 3-30.6
RUSHING – Fairland: Zion Martin 6-24, Steeler Leep 16-191, Brycen Hunt 2-4, Jack Hayden 3-minus 5, Team 2-minus 12; Coal Grove: Chase Hall 19-74, Kaden Murphy 6-73, Steven Simpson 4-16, Whyatt Mannon 4-minus 18;
PASSING – Fairland: Steeler Leep 4-6-0 43, Jack Hayden 1-2-0 31, Brycen Hunt 1-2-0 16; Coal Grove: Whyatt Mannon 9-19-0 115 TD.
RECEIVING – Fairland: Brycen Hunt 5-59, Steeler Leep 1-31; Coal Grove: Gavin Gipson 3-48, Wes Runyon 2-16, Chase Hall 2-23, Kaden Murphy 2-28 TD.
MISSED FIELD GOALS – Fairland: Gabe Polcyn 45 (WR).