Football: Fairmont 18, West Bladen 0
FAIRMONT- Junior Gabriel Washington threw for a pair of touchdowns Friday night to lead Fairmont to an 18-0 Southeastern Athletic Conference football victory over West Bladen.
For the Knights it was a night of miscues and missed opportunities. A busted coverage led to the first Fairmont touchdown 31 seconds before halftime. Penalties bailed the Tornadoes out of an early hole then nullified a Knight touchdown, and a pair of high snaps produced a pair of 4th quarter safeties.
A short Tornado punt gave the Knights possession at the Fairmont 41 yard line early in the game. West Bladen was stopped on downs at the Tornado 19, but after the West defense held, a roughing the kicker penalty ignited an 8-play drive that moved Fairmont out to the Knight 42.
Midway the 2nd period, freshman Hunter Hester hurled an apparent 76-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Hezekiah Adams, but an illegal block downfield limited the play to a 37-yard gain. Hester connected with senior Tydrick Stewart for 16 yards and a 1st down at the Fairmont 29 yard line. However Jamir Jones intercepted a Knight pass in the end zone to end the threat.
Washington completed a 15-yard pass to junior Travelius Leach to start an 80-yard Fairmont drive, and a pass interference penalty kept the march alive. On 3rd down from the West 40, Washington found a wide-open Leach with the touchdown pass. Washington ran the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
The Knights opened the 2nd half with an onside kick, and Leach scooped up the ball and dashed 27 yards to the Knight 24 yard line. However the Knight defense held on downs.
Three plays later Fairmont’s Tyrek Thompson picked off a Knight pass to give the Tornadoes possession at the West 38 yard line. Junior Dacoaleon Austin carried 5 times for 26 yards as Fairmont drove to the 11, but Stewart intercepted a Washington pass to stop the drive.
Three plays later Thompson intercepted another pass at the Knight 24, but the West defense held again at the 17 yard line as the 3rd period ended.
On the first play of the final quarter, a high snap sailed over the West quarterback’s head and resulted in a safety for Fairmont that padded the lead to 10-0.
After the free kick, the Tornadoes drove 41 yards in 9 plays to push the lead to 16-0 on Washington’s 8-yard TD pass to Demarcus Grissett with 4:26 left.
Moments later another high snap led to another safety and the final margin of 18-0.
“This was a tough one,” said Knight Coach Stanley Williams. “We played well defensively except for a couple of busted coverages. We knew what they were going to do and did a pretty good job of stopping it. The bad snaps just came at the most inopportune times.”
Senior Deonte Lacey led the Knight defense with 13 tackles. Senior Tyler Ward and junior Aaron Lewis were credited with 7 tackles and 1 sack each. Stewart had the 1 interception.
Hester completed 3 of 7 passes for 58 yards but suffered 3 interceptions for the Knights. Adams had the 37-yard reception, and Stewart caught 2 passes for 21 yards. Stewart ran 7 times for 17 yards.
Washington connected on 8 of 13 passes for 99 yards and had 1 interception. Leach caught 4 passes for 64 yards and ran 6 times for 30 yards. Austin rushed 19 times for 50 yards.
The Knights, now 0-3 in the SAC-7 and 1-6 overall, will host Red Springs Friday night.