PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: Fairview’s season ends with round 2 loss at Anniston, 35-7

Fairview’s Mason Black carries the ball in the Aggies’ 35-7 loss at Anniston Friday night. (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

ANNISTON, Ala. – After picking up a victory in round one of the AHSAA State Football Playoffs over Central-Florence last week, the Fairview Aggies looked to move on to the next round Friday when they traveled to Anniston to take on the Bulldogs. Unfortunately, Anniston had other plans, defeating Fairview, 35-7.

Anniston didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard, scoring on a 52-yard run on just the third play to make it 8-0 with 10:28 remaining in the opening period. Fairview’s opening possession saw it go three-and-out, but the Bulldogs fumbled the punt and Eli Speegle recovered the ball for the Aggies at the 36. A personal foul on the Bulldogs put the Aggies even closer to the end zone at the 21, but they quickly went backward as a pair of sacks, including one on fourth down, forced them to turn the ball over on downs.

The running game continued to give Fairview problems. Anniston ran the ball eight times, the final one resulting in a 23-yard score to make it 15-0 with 2:02 remaining in the quarter. Another Aggie punt turned into another score for the Bulldogs when a 3-yard scamper made it 21-0 with 9:22 remaining in the second quarter.

Fairview looked to finally get something going on offense, and back-to-back penalties on Anniston helped the Aggies. Tyvn Ellis and Tyler Simmons each picked up first downs as well, but Mason Black fell a yard short on fourth down. The Bulldogs added yet another score in the period on a 13-yard run to put the score at 28-0 at the half.

The Aggies were forced to punt on their opening possession of the third, but the defense forced Anniston into a turnover-on-downs. Fairview got a pass interference flag against the Bulldogs to start out its second possession. Later, Parker Martin found Ellis for a 16-yard gain and a first down. A personal foul on Anniston gave Fairview new life, and on the next play, Martin found Black for a 19-yard score to cut the deficit to 28-7 with 1:34 remaining in the third period. 

Anniston quickly struck right back with a 34-yard run to put the final score at 35-7, ending the Aggies’ season with a 9-3 record and a region title.

Martin finished the game 7-of-16 for 72 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Ellis added a sack on defense, and Eli Speegle and Brandon Threadgill each finished with fumble recoveries.

Eight seniors played their final game for Fairview, but with some young talent coming back for Coach George Redding and his coaching staff, the Aggies will look to take that next big step in 2020.

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