Home Notice Box Sports Fairborn worn down by Tecumseh in opening loss

Fairborn worn down by Tecumseh in opening loss


FAIRBORN — There was plenty of optimism heading into the season opener on Friday from Fairborn players and coaches.

Check out more photos from Friday’s game.

While it was backed up early on from solid play on the field, the end result showed there’s work to do.

Fairborn was unable to stop Tecumseh in the second half and had two turnovers to hinder them from attempt to stay close as the Skyhawks dropped the first game of the 2023 season in a 32-15 defeat at home.

Fairborn actually outgained the Arrows 251-249, but while Tecumseh only completed 1-of-10 passing attempts, they were able to wear down the Fairborn defense through the use of 51 bruising rushing attempts.

“As I told the kids, this is a weight room issue,” Fairborn head coach Larry Cox said. “We had kids out there that weren’t strong enough to stand up to it. And as a program, we still don’t have that elite strength yet.”

After trailing at the half, Fairborn came out of the break with renewed vigor. Driving more than 60 yards, Jay Kidd found the end zone by rushing for five of his game-high 95 yards and J. T. Smith converted a two-point try to tie the score at 15.

Tecumseh seized control of the game from there, beginning with a driver taking off the next 5:30 of clock time to regain a seven-point lead. Fairborn would later lose possession after an interception that lead to a Tecumseh field goal to go up by 10 early in the fourth quarter.

A second fumble for Fairborn on the ensuing drive was the backbreaker as Tecumseh used up most of the remaining clock and punctuated its victory on a two-yard touchdown run with two minutes remaining.

“We lost our discipline, that’s what it comes down to,” Cox said. “I think our kids fought, but the mistakes we made were monumental and I tell them that’s not just on them but that’s on all of us. … We’re all together in this thing.”

After a first quarter filled with good defensive play by both sides, Smith got the scoring started for Fairborn early in the second on a option keeper from three yards out. Tecumseh grabbed the lead on its next drive after a touchdown run was followed by a two-point conversion set up by an offsides penalty on the extra point attempt.

Fairborn was on its way to keeping its deficit at one heading into halftime, but the Arrows not only converted a fourth-and-seven attempt but also scored a touchdown on a reverse run from 35 yards out to lead 15-7 at the break.

Zyaire Cavitt had 61 yards rushing to back up Kidd. Smith threw for 73 yards while completing 6 of his 19 attempts.

Dez Mata had 16 total tackles to lead the defense and Noah Lawrie got the only sack for the Skyhawks.

“All we can do is accentuate the positives and try and eliminate the negatives,” Cox said.

It was the 68th and final home opener for Fairborn at Memorial Stadium behind Baker Middle School before they move to a new field in 2024 at the location of the in-progress high school.

Fairborn is back at home in week two as it hosts Tippecanoe.

Check out more photos from Friday’s game.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.