By John Bombatch
NEW CARLISLE — Lightning made the biggest tackle in Friday night’s Fairborn vs. Tecumseh football game.
Moments before the second half was to begin, officials saw lighting to the south — from the same storm that halted several other games in the Dayton area — and called a lightning delay.
As a result, the host Arrows will hold on to their seven-point lead for a few more hours. The game was called until 1 p.m. today.
The first half saw Fairborn out-gain Tecumseh by a 129-119 margin, but the host Arrows got a pair of Jayden McFarland touchdown runs — one from 4 yards out, another from 13 — to jump out in front 14-0.
Fairborn needed a quick-strike offensive play to get back into the ballgame. Quarterback Wesley Watts found Gracen Barnhart in the left flat for a quick pass, and Barnhart sped away from the remaining Arrows defenders for a 72-yard score.
Damien Mentzer booted the extra point and the Skyhawks trailed 14-7 at halftime.
The game was about to resume when officials announced that the proceedings were under a lightning delay. Ohio High School Athletic guidelines require at least a half-hour delay from the last observed lightning strike. The initial delay began at 8:21 p.m.
The Tecumseh athletic trainers folded up their tables at 8:38 p.m. and the game was officially called at 9:22 p.m.
Game officials waited until 9:15 p.m. to make a decision and said if lightning was seen after that time, that they’d call it a night.
School officials then haggled for the next seven minutes to determine a time when both schools could return to Tecumseh, and needed to set a time when their game wouldn’t conflict with a soccer game that was already scheduled on the field. They needed to find out when a full set of game referees would be available as well.
The game’s postponement was announced at 9:28 p.m.
At 9:29 p.m., the rains came.
Friday’s games marked the first week of the Ohio high school football season. Beavercreek defeated Xenia, 37-20, Thursday at Frank Zink Field.
Other games contested by local teams Friday night were: Bellbrook at Waynesville; Carroll at Riverside Stebbins; Cedarville at London Madison Plains; and Greeneview at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.
At presstime, it was not known whether the other games were postponed as well.
T — Jayden McFarland 4 run (James Gray kick)
T — McFarland 13 run (Gray kick)
F — Gracen Barnhart 72 pass from Wesley Watts (Damien Mentzer kick)
John Bombatch can be reached at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.