By Zach Gregory
FAIRBORN — What a difference a year makes.
After losing to the Tecumseh Arrows 6-0 a year ago, Fairborn flipped the script and won 41-21, Friday night at Baker Memorial Stadium.
“I think it’s a tribute to our kids and the work they’ve put in over the offseason. They worked hard, committed and did what we asked them to do. They bring great energy on both sides of the ball and it worked out well for us tonight,” said Fairborn coach Roy Thobe.
The Skyhawks had to spend their energy to weather the Arrows’ rushing attack in the first half. Tecumseh gained a total of 213 yards through two quarters. Brandon Morgan had 159 yards on his own on nine carries in the first half, scoring all three of the Arrows’ touchdowns. His first time touching the ball was a 95-yard rip that got Tecumseh off of its own one-yard line.
But the Skyhawk offense was able to keep up with Tecumseh’s ground game. Trailing 21-14 with just under two minutes to play until halftime, Fairborn quarterback Wesley Watts ran the ball 53 yards to score. But the team was penalized on the point after, moving it further from the uprights, and the extra point was missed. It was 21-20 at the break.
Thobe said that he told his team to not dwell on the mistakes at halftime.
“First half, we made mistakes and let it affect us on the next plays. That’s what we focused on at halftime. We just had to move on. We did that in the second half and played well,” he said.
The Skyhawk defense turned things around in the second half, drastically clamping down on the Tecumseh running game. And with just over eight minutes to play in the third quarter, Morgan went down with an injury. He would’t return for the rest of the game. The Arrows didn’t score in the second half.
The Fairborn defense caused three turnovers in the game, two interceptions and a fumble, all in the second half. Christian Rountree had both picks for the Hawks.
Watts and Brent Grody were effective as Fairborn’s dual quarterback attack. Wesley finished with 117 yards passing and 77 yards running. Grody had 48 yards passing and 89 yards on the ground.
“It’s been a great battle. They both bring a little bit of a different skill set to the table,” said Thobe. “It’s fun to be able to rotate them. We can also get Brent in there as a receiver. He’s a great tight end too.”
Fairborn returns to action against Stebbins at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at Stebbins High School.
Score by Quarters:
Tecumseh 7 14 0 0 — 21
Fairborn 7 13 21 0 — 41
T – Brandon Morgan 2 run. Rylan Magsaysay kick.
F – Brandon Easterling 37 pass from Wesley Watts. Adam Knaub kick.
F – KJ Redmon 5 pass from Brent Grody. Knaub kick.
T – Morgan 30 run. Magsaysay kick.
F – Redmon 13 run. Knaub kick.
F – Watts 53 run. Knaub kick miss.
F – Redmon 49 rush. Knaub kick.
F – Grody 30 rush. Knaub kick.
F – Gracen Barnhart 41 pass from Watts. Knaub kick.
Records: Fairborn (1-0); Tecumseh (0-1)