Running game keys West Point to homecoming victory over Fairview

Courtesy of Kyle Chamblee on Twitter

WEST POINT – No one will ever forget what Kobe Smith meant to the West Point football team by setting a single-season county record of more than 2,200 yards and 28 touchdowns in his senior season in 2015. But the Warriors are showing a lot of love to seniors Cameron Moore and Alex Hernandez, as the running attack has not missed a beat, especially in three consecutive wins in Class 5A, Region 6 play.

The starting backfield of Moore and Hernandez combined for 313 yards and five touchdowns with West Point outscoring Fairview 38-24 Friday night to enjoy homecoming and stay close to first place in the regional standings.

Moore showed his endurance as he carried the ball 13 times in the fourth quarter, gaining 55 yards to finish with 169 on 30 attempts and four touchdowns. He found his way to the end zone twice in the final period.

The first score for Moore in the quarter was set up by an 80-yard run from Hernandez to the Fairview 1-yard line. Moore scored two plays later.

An insurance score came from Moore following an interception of a Ragan Ashley pass by the Warriors' Steven Rodriguez at the Fairview 33. That gave the Warriors a two-touchdown lead; then they got the ball back following a Fairview fumble on the kickoff and ran out the clock.

The Warriors take a 3-1 region record to Mortimer Jordan next Friday, facing a Blue Devil team that is 3-0 in the region. Mortimer Jordan was idle on Friday night.

This game had five lead changes before the fourth quarter arrived.

Fairview drove from its 34 to the West Point 13 and had to settle for a 30-yard field goal from Jaxxon Swann and a 3-0 lead with 2:35 to play in the first quarter.

On the next series for West Point, Moore ripped up the middle for 66 yards and the touchdown, and his 2-point run gave the home team an 8-3 advantage.

The next drive for the Aggies had a 35-yard pass from Ashley to Sambo Woods that set them up at the West Point 2 as time expired in the first. Ashley scored on the next play and the kick by Swann sent the Aggies back in front at 10-8.

Late in the second, Ashley pinned the Warriors at the West Point 17 with huge punt. West Point marched downfield thanks to Hernandez getting loose for 26 yards on one of four carries in the drive.

The Warriors regained the lead on a 6-yard TD from Moore with 22 seconds to play in the half. His conversion made the score 16-10 West Point at halftime.

Fairview's defense forced West Point to punt on the first series of the third period. The Aggies took over from their 20 and drove it to the end zone with Ashley getting three key passes in the drive to Colby LaBauve, Ethan Holland a 7-yard touchdown strike to Woods. Swann booted the extra point and the Aggies led 17-16 with 3:18 left in the stanza.

On the next possession for the Warriors, Kolton Easterwood hooked up with Brandon Farley for a 47-yard pass play to the Fairview 6. Two plays later, Hernandez took it off right guard from the 4 and the Warriors were back on top to stay at 22-17.

With their first drive in the fourth quarter starting from the 6-yard line, the Warriors ran four plays to extend the lead. A 13-yard run by Moore got them out to the West Point 19 then Hernandez had the longest run of the night, 80 yards, that made it to the Fairview 1.

A false start backed up the Warriors to the 6. In two plays, Moore was back in the end zone, scoring from the 3. He added the 2-point play and the Warriors led 30-17 with 8:43 remaining.

Fairview answered with an important drive to get the Aggies within six points at 30-24. Ashley finished a 65-yard drive with three passes, the third covering 30 yards for the score to Woods who made a great catch in the right side of the end zone.

Swann followed with the conversion and the Aggies were back in business with 7:18 to play.

The Aggies forced the Warriors to punt and took over at their 32 with 5:00 to go in the game. On second down, a sideline pass by Ashley was intercepted by Rodriguez and the Warriors had the ball at the Fairview 33.

West Point used three minutes of the clock and put the game out of reach when Moore scored on an 8-yard run with 1:24 to go. Easterwood threw a 2-point pass to Austin Smith and it was 38-24 West Point.

Jeremy Cloud gave the Aggies good field position on the kickoff return, but fumbled with the Warriors recovering at the Fairview 41. They erased the final 1:12 off the clock and evened their record to 3-3 with their third straight victory in region play.

West Point netted 366 yards of offense on homecoming with 306 by the ground and 60 in the air. The Warriors collected 13 first downs, five in the fourth quarter.

Fairview managed 336 yards of total offense, 214 coming through the air as Ashley was 17 of 25 with two touchdowns, but threw two interceptions. Woods caught five passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

The Aggies picked up 16 first downs, but suffered six penalties for 32 yards and turned the ball over three times.

Fairview fell to 0-3 in the region and 2-4 on the season. The Aggies will play Curry at West Point Stadium next week as construction continues at Dafford Smith Stadium on the Fairview campus.

The game is scheduled to be the Aggies' homecoming.


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