PREP FOOTBALL: Aggies best Pirates, 33-21

Fairview’s Parker Martin (9) ran for 137 yards in the Aggies’ 33-21 win over Boaz Friday night. (Gary McGriff for The Cullman Tribune)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. – The Boaz Pirates traveled to Dafford Smith Stadium to take on the Fairview Aggies in an AHSAA Class 5A Region 7 game Friday. Boaz looked to remain undefeated in region play.  Fairview looked to improve its playoff chances and get its first win in school history against the Pirates in nine tries.  In the end, Fairview left the field with a 33-21 victory.

The Pirates took the opening kickoff at their own 40-yard line.  Boaz went on a nine-play, 60-yard drive and Kadin Bennefield scored on a 26-yard touchdown run.  With 9:12 left in the first quarter Boaz led 7-0.

Aided by a holding penalty against Fairview, the Aggies were forced to punt. Boaz continued its first-quarter dominance completing a nine-play, 78-yard drive when Bennefield scored his second touchdown of the quarter on a 5-yard run and the Pirates extended their lead to 14-0 with 4:58 left to go in the first quarter.

Looking to settle down, the Aggies took over on their own 20-yard line.  Taking the drive into the second quarter, Fairview went on a 15-play, 80-yard touchdown drive.  Tyler Simmons converted a fourth-and-2 when he ran for 21 yards, and Parker Martin closed out the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.  Missing the point after attempt, Fairview narrowed the score to 14-6 with 10:16 left to go in the second quarter.

Boaz looked to answer the Fairview score.  Facing third-and-long, it appeared the Aggies had stopped Boaz’s drive, but a holding penalty gave the Pirates another chance to get the first down.  Simmons intercepted Carter Lambert’s pass and after a nice return Fairview had great field position at the Boaz 31.

Fairview had to overcome a fumble and completed a six-play touchdown drive when Simmons scored on a 12-yard run.  Simmons ran into the end zone for the two-point conversion and the Aggies tied the score 14-14 with 5:14 left in the first half.

Taking over at its own 22-yard line, Boaz was faced with a fourth-and-2 at the 30-yard line.  Keaton Kennedy was tackled after gaining only 1 yard and the Aggies took over on downs with 31 yards between them and their first lead.

With less than a minute to go in the half, Fairview faced a fourth-and-10 at the 17-yard line.  Martin competed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Bryson Chamness.  With 39.2 left in the half, Fairview had its first lead, 20-14.

It appeared the half would end that way.  Aided by a pass interference penalty against the Aggies, the Pirates had the ball on Fairview’s 25-yard line with one untimed down due to the defensive penalty.  Boaz attempted a 35-yard field goal that was unsuccessful as the half ended with Fairview leading 20-14.

Bennefield rushed for 75 yards in the first quarter for Boaz.  The Aggies held the Boaz running back to just 27 yards in the second quarter.

Fairview was forced to punt on its first drive. A sack by Fairview’s Levi Gardner forced a Boaz punt. Fairview managed a couple of first downs and ended up punting to Boaz again.

Boaz’s second drive of the third quarter got into Fairview territory, where the Pirates once again failed on a fourth down as Lambert’s pass fell incomplete.  The Aggies got the ball on their own 42-yard line.  Four straight runs for Fairview ended the third quarter with no scoring by either team.

Fairview started the fourth quarter deep in Boaz territory looking to extend its lead.  Martin fumbled the ball and Jaquez Kelly recovered it for Boaz at the Pirate 19.

On the sixth play of the drive, Lambert completed a 65-yard drive to Mason Alexander for the touchdown with 8:53 left in the game.  The extra point was good to give Boaz the lead back 21-20.

Eli Speegle took the kickoff at the goal line and returned it 38 yards where the Aggies looked to regain the lead.  Seven plays later, the Aggies were at Boaz’s 15-yard line.  Martin took the snap and tried to run the ball.  He was hit at the line of scrimmage and looked to be down, but carrying several tacklers with him, Martin scored the go ahead touchdown with 5:27 left to go in the game.  The two-point conversion was no good and the Fairview lead was 26-21.

Fairview attempted to catch the Pirates sleeping with an onside kick.  Boaz recovered the ball.  After only gaining 5 yards, Fairview’s defense stopped the Pirates fourth-down attempt and took over near midfield with 4:08 left in the game.

Fairview was looking to gain a couple of first downs to run out the clock. On the seventh play, the Aggies put away the game when Simmons scored on a 7-yard touchdown run. 

The final score was 33-21 for Fairview’s first victory against Boaz in the school’s history.  The victory settled the Aggies into second place in the region.

Simmons finished the night with 197 yards on 32 carries.  Martin was 9/12 passing for 62 yards and added 137 yards on 22 rushes.

After the game Fairview Coach George Redding said, “This was a total team win on both sides of the ball.  I’m proud of our staff and our players as we overcame early adversity.”

Fairview improves to 5-1 and hosts the Crossville Lions in another region game next week.

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