PREP FOOTBALL: Fairview scores late to edge Lawrence County 14-7

Fairview’s Jake Harper (14) fights for yardage in the Aggies’ 14-7 win over Lawrence County Friday night. (Mike Witcher/The Cullman Tribune)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. – The Fairview Aggies hosted the Lawrence County Red Devils in another huge region game Friday night and after battling it out for three quarters in a low scoring affair, a late touchdown helped the Aggies get past the Red Devils 14-7.

Fairview got the ball first to start out the game and quickly got past midfield behind hard-nosed runs by Carson Jones and Barrett York. Later on, an 8-yard pass from York to Cade Yeager put the Aggies at the 27, but they coughed the ball up on the next play and Lawrence County recovered it. The Red Devils got a first down on the first play, but the Aggie defense stiffened after that and ended up stuffing them for no gain on a fake punt attempt. Big runs by Kolt Redding and Jones, plus an offsides penalty, had the Aggies at the eight-yard line, but another fumble gave the ball back to the Red Devils.

Lawrence County picked up a couple of first downs during its next drive, but Fairview’s defense settled down and forced a punt. The ball sailed over the punter’s head, and he got tackled at the 16, as Fairview set up shop from there. The Aggies got hit with the penalty bug during the drive, and a Kolt Redding pass got picked off to end the drive. A 30-yard pass by the Red Devils quickly put them at the 17, but a pair of penalties quickly put them behind the sticks. They attempted a field goal, and it fell short. The Aggies got the ball behind, and their running game continued to wear down the Red Devil defense, as Jake Harper picked up three first downs during the drive. A costly penalty, though, forced them to punt.

A Lawrence County punt gave the ball back to Fairview, and on the first play, an unsportsmanlike penalty after the play on the Red Devils put the ball at the 44. Behind Redding, Jones, and York, the Aggies quickly moved the ball to the 11. Three plays later, Redding found Jameson Goble in the corner of the end zone for a seven-yard score to give the Aggies a 7-0 lead with 2:15 remaining in the first half. Another punt and two plays later, the Aggies went into the locker room with a 7-0 lead.

Fairview forced a Red Devil punt to start the second half, and the Aggies picked up three first downs on their first three plays of its opening series. A penalty put them behind the sticks, and they were forced to punt. Three straight punts gave the ball back to Fairview. Big runs by Jones and Harper had the Aggies at the 25, but back-to-back penalties, saw their drive get stopped to a screeching halt, as they were forced to punt. The Aggies got the ball back after another Red Devil punt, and a big run by Harper, plus a face mask penalty on Lawrence County, put the ball at the seven, but two plays later, the Red Devils recovered another Aggie fumble.

Later on in their drive, a pass interference penalty on Fairview gave Lawrence County a first down. On the next play, a 76-yard run tied the game up at seven with 7:29 left to go in the game. The Aggies started its next drive from the 20, and a Harper run gave them a first down. After Redding found Yeager for 11 yards, Harper broke free for a 22-yard run to put them at the 34. Harper collected another first down during the drive, then later on, Redding connected with Yeager for an eight-yard gain and another first down. Two plays later, Redding found the end zone on a huge four-yard run to give Fairview a 14-7 lead with 3:03 left to go in the contest.

The Aggies picked the perfect time to force their first turnover of the game, as Redding picked off an errant pass with a little over two minutes left. Jones picked up a huge first down, and a pair of kneel downs later, Fairview was able to breath a huge sigh of relief after the game, as they held off a feisty Lawrence County squad, 14-7.

Redding finished 6/8 for 40 yards and a score, added a rushing touchdown, and had the late interception to help seal the win for Fairview (8-0, 5-0). Harper added 172 yards rushing on the night, while Jones ended up with 116 rushing yards.

Fairview will head to Russellville for an enormous battle with the Golden Tigers next Friday night, as the winner will clinch the No. 1 seed in the region.

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