PREP FOOTBALL: Fairview clinches playoff berth with 35-0 shutout of Crossville

Fairview’s Dalton Payne (22) carries the ball during the Aggies’ 35-0 win against Crossville Thursday night. (Gary McGriff for The Cullman Tribune)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. – Looking to possibly get locked into the AHSAA football playoffs, the Fairview Aggies hosted the winless Crossville Lions at Dafford Smith Stadium Thursday night.  The Aggies came into the game sitting in second place in AHSAA Class 5A Region 7.  Fairview got a 35-0 victory and gave a great birthday present to Aggie head coach George Redding.

Forcing the Lions to punt after three plays, the Aggies started their first drive on their own 40-yard line.  Facing a fourth-and-2 from the Crossville 35-yard line, Tyler Simmons ran 3 yards for a Fairview first down.  Three plays later, quarterback Parker Martin completed the eight-play drive with an 18-yard pass play to Caden Jennings for a touchdown.  With 7:01 to go in the first quarter Fairview led 7-0.

Forcing another quick punt, Eli Speegle returned the kick to the Crossville 49.  The Lions were called for a pass interference on the first play.  Two plays later, Martin completed a touchdown pass of 30 yards to Speegle.  Fairview extended its lead to 14-0 with 3:59 left in the first quarter.

Crossville managed its only first down of the first quarter on its next drive.  Speegle took the punt and gave the Aggies excellent field position near midfield.  Carrying the drive into the second quarter, the Aggies completed a nine-play touchdown drive when Martin completed another scoring pass, this time to Eli Frost.  The Fairview lead was now 21-0 with 9:57 left in the first half.

Crossville began its only drive of the second quarter on its own 35-yard line.  Overcoming two fourth-down situations, the Lions ran 14 straight run plays.  Facing their third fourth down of the drive from the Fairview 12-yard line, the only pass of the drive fell incomplete and the Aggies took over on downs.

Running the Aggies’ hurry-up offense with about a minute to go tin the half, Martin was intercepted by Crossville’s Alex Chacon at the goal line and returned the ball 40 yards as the half ended.

Fairview took the second half kickoff at its own 40-yard line looking to extend the lead.  Speegle fumbled the ball on a 5-yard run and Jennings recovered to keep the drive alive. Fairview suffered two holding penalties during the drive that looked to be drive killers, but the Aggies recovered and faced a fourth-and-4 from the Crossville 7-yard line.  The Lions were called offsides and the Aggies were faced with a fourth-and-1 from the 4-yard line.  Martin scored on a 4-yard run and with 6:23 left in the third quarter and Fairview completed the 12-play drive to take a 28-0 lead.

After one first down, Crossville was forced to punt again.  On the second play of the drive, Martin completed a 63-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Guyton.  Unfortunately for the Aggies, Fairview was penalized for another holding call that negated the score.  Overcoming the penalty, Martin scored early in the fourth quarter on a 33-yard touchdown run, and with 11:35 left in the game the Aggies led 35-0.

Crossville took over and ran 14 plays that used up most of the time left in the contest.  Fairview’s defense held the Lions on fourth down again, giving the ball back to the Aggies to run out the clock for the 35-0 win.

Simmons completed the game with 14 rushes for 88 yards.  Martin rushed for 109 yards on nine rushes and was 13 of 17 passing for 152 yards.

After the game Coach Redding said, “Very proud of our team.  We had to clean up some stuff on the offensive line.  Our defensive preparation was excellent.”

With the win, the Aggies remain in second place for their region and secured a berth in the AHSAA football playoffs.

Fairview travels to Brewer High School next week the take on the Patriots.

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