By Dean Maddox
Courtesy of the Times-Record
FAYETTE — In a game where each team finished with 20 first downs and 356 yards in total offense, Fayette won the battle on the scoreboard and defeated Hamilton by the score of 51-33.
Dezmon Harris of Fayette received the opening kickoff and returned the ball 64 yards to give the Tigers excellent starting field position at the Aggies’ 19-yard line. Dylan Schloerb ran the ball three consecutive plays, including 11 yards on the final carry on the possession for a touchdown. Isaiah Stowe kicked the extra point and Fayette led 7-0.
Hamilton had to punt on its first offensive series, and Fayette received the punt at midfield. Six plays later, Schloerb ran seven yards for his second and final touchdown of the game, as he yielded playing time to the underclassmen on the team. Stowe kicked the extra point and Fayette led 14-0.
Noah Benton scooped up a fumble on Hamilton’s next possession and returned the ball 47 yards for a Fayette touchdown. Stowe’s PAT kick failed and Fayette led 20-0.
Hamilton returned the ensuing kickoff to Fayette’s 48-yard line and four plays later, the Aggie’s quarterback Mason Holloway ran the ball 11 yards for a touchdown. The PAT kick failed and with 2:12 left in the first period, Fayette led 20-6.
The Tigers again showed its quick-strike capabilities as its next possession resulted in a 60-yard drive for a touchdown. Hester Whitaker ran eight yards for the score, and after Stowe kicked the extra point, Fayette led 27-6 with 11:54 remaining in the second quarter.
Stowe’s kickoff to the Aggies was recovered by Fayette at the Hamilton 48-yard line. Eleven plays later, Cooper Sanford caught a 10-yard pass from quarterback Jake Rickman for a touchdown. Taylor Kelly’s extra point kick failed, and Fayette led 33-6.
Following a Hamilton punt, Fayette again moved quickly downfield, covering 56 yards in three plays for the score. Whittaker ran two plays for 51 yards, and Maurice Harris finished the drive with a two-yard run for the score. Eighth-grader Wade Jackson’s extra point kick failed. Fayette led 39-6.
An interception by A.J. Parris on Hamilton’s first play following the kickoff returned the ball to the Tigers at its 47-yard line. Three plays later, Brayden Unger caught a 40-yard pass from Rickman for a touchdown. Jackson missed the extra point kick, and Fayette held a commanding 45-6 lead.
The Aggies showed that although they were down by a large margin, they were still fighting for points. Following the kickoff, Hamilton had its best drive of the first half, moving 70 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown. The drive culminated with a 23-yard pass from Holloway to Kelton Battle for the score. Anthony McCullar kicked the extra point, and Fayette led 45-13.
The Aggies opened the second half receiving the ball and sustaining a seven-play, 61-yard drive for a score. Holloway completed a 28-yard pass to Coley Gilstrap for the touchdown, and after a missed extra point kick, Fayette led 45-19.
The Tigers answered the Hamilton score with its only points of the second half following the kickoff. On the first play of the possession, Rickman completed a 53-yard pass to Hollis Strawbridge for a touchdown. The extra point kick by Jackson failed, though Fayette led 51-19.
See complete story in the Journal Record.