Persall, Warriors take bragging rights in first Brandin’ Iron Bowl, 27-14


FAIRVIEW – The Fairview Aggies hosted the West Point Warriors Friday night to renew their rivalry in what has just been dubbed this season, “The Brandin’ Iron Bowl.” The Warriors came away with a hard-fought 27-14 victory that earned them a trophy presentation after the game and a free meal from Brandin’ Iron Steakhouse.

The Warriors got off to a fast start scoring on their first possession of the game to take a 6-0 lead, but it was Fairview that took the lead just before halftime on a 77-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Dayne Black to senior running back Garrett Dunn. However, the Aggies were unable to score again in the game, allowing 20 unanswered points in the second half.

This game was physical from the first snap but no one took as much punishment as West Point junior running back Hunter Persall, who finished the game with 30 carries. Persall made the most of his opportunities, rushing for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Of West Point’s 398 offensive yards, 310 of them belonged to Persall.

The Aggies really felt Persall’s presence in the second half after he busted a 58-yard touchdown run on the opening play of the third quarter and then iced the game for the Warriors on a 55-yard touchdown run with just more than four minutes left in the game, putting West Point up 27-14.

After his stellar performance, Persall looked to his coaches and his offensive line to give them the credit.

“Really we just go off of coaching. Coach Farley is a great coach and I figured if we kept doing what we’ve been doing we’d be able to run the ball against them,” Persall said. “We were confident but we never underestimated our opponent. It’s all about the offensive line you know, the skill guys do stuff, but it’s mainly about them to get everything started.”

Warriors’ head coach Don Farley was proud of the way his team played Friday night and saw some things he thinks they can improve on going forward.

“Our plan was to just come out here and try to play our tempo and our style and try to control the ball, but the things they do, they do well and they showed it right before halftime when they took the lead,” Farley said. “We’ve got to control the big plays, we can’t get frustrated if the offense turns it over and the offense can’t get frustrated if the defense gives up a play; it’s a team effort.”

Farley also saw Persall’s performance as a collaborative effort and was proud of his running back and the team effort as a whole.

“We rely on our linemen and receivers to block and we rely on the backs to run and Hunter got his number called tonight and he ran hard. He’s a hard worker and I was proud of him and all our guys.”

It was a big win in Region 6 of Class 5A for the Warriors, who move to 4-2 on the year with the last stretch of the regular season ahead of them starting next week with Mortimer Jordan before the postseason. The loss for Fairview moved them to 2-4 this season, and they’ll look to bounce back next week on the road at Curry.

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