PREP FOOTBALL: Fairview handles Randolph in regular season finale 41-7

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Fairview’s Jake Harper finished with 143 yards and two touchdowns in the Aggies’ 41-7 win over Randolph Friday night. (Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. – After dropping their region finale to Russellville last Friday night, the Fairview Aggies bounced back in their regular season finale at home against Randolph Friday night. It might have been cold at Dafford Smith Stadium, but Fairview’s running game sure wasn’t, and the ground game, along with a strong defensive effort, helped the Aggies collect a 41-7 win over Randolph.

Randolph got the ball to start out the game, and a huge 37-yard pass play quickly put them at the 38. They collected two more first downs, as they were now at the 17. A wobbly pass ended up getting picked off by Fairview’s Cade Yeager at the four. On the third play of the series, Carson Jones ripped off a 39-yard run to put the Aggies at midfield. Later on during the drive, back-to-back huge runs by Jake Harper, plus a nine-yard pass from Kolt Redding to Ashton Mcleskey, put the Aggies at the eight-yard line. But a fumble backed them up to the 16, and Redding ended up missing the field goal attempt.

The Raiders collected a pair of first downs early on in their next series, but a pair of penalties on the same play quickly pushed them behind the sticks, and they were forced to punt. The Aggies got the ball at the 40, and Harper didn’t waste any time finding the end zone, as he ripped off a 60-yard touchdown run on the first play of the series, to give Fairview a 7-0 lead with 1:24 left to go in the first quarter. Randolph converted a huge fourth down play to keep its next series alive, then a face mask penalty on Fairview put the Raiders at the 40. A huge tackle for a loss by Blake Rickard on third down forced Randolph to punt; it was blocked, and the Aggies started their next series at the 46.

Another big run by Harper, plus a 10-yard pass from Redding to Yeager, quickly put them at the 16. Jones ran the ball on the final three plays of the series, including a one-yard score, to give the Aggies a 14-0 lead with 7:33 remaining in the first half. Fairview’s defense forced another turnover on its next possession, as Mcleskey picked off a Raider pass at the 46.

Jones ripped off a 41-yard run on the first play, which put the Aggies at the five. On the third play of its series, after a fumbled snap, Redding was able to take it in for the two-yard score to make it a 21-0 lead for Fairview with 4:20 remaining in the first half. After giving up a couple of first downs on its next series, Fairview’s defense stiffened and forced Randolph to turn the ball over on downs. The Aggies would take a 21-0 lead into the locker room.

Fairview picked up from where they left off in the first half, as Jones rushed for 43 yards on their opening series of the second half. The drive ended with Redding finding Yeager for a 15-yard score to give the Aggies a 27-0 lead. Randolph, though, avoided the shutout as a 51-yard touchdown pass cut it to 27-7. Fairview had a quick respond on its next series, as Jones started things off with a 30-yard run, then two plays later, Harper ended the drive with a 28-yard score to make it 34-7. Three punts later, the Aggies put up their final touchdown of the night on a 32-yard run by Jase Stevens. Fairview would end up getting a 41-7 win over Randolph to finish their regular season with a 9-1 record.

Jones led the way with 203 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown for the Aggies. Harper added 143 yards and a pair of scores on the ground. Stevens ended up with 63 yards rushing and a score, and Braiden Brooks added 49 more on the ground, as Fairview finished with 468 yards on the ground on the night. Redding finished 5/7 for 40 yards and a touchdown and added a rushing touchdown as well. Yeager finished with a touchdown reception and an interception as well. Mcleskey ended up with an interception as well.

Fairview will now start preparing to host John Carroll in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs next week.

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