FAIRVIEW, Okla. —
Of course Chisholm couldn’t beat Fairview for the first time in eight tries without late-game drama.
Not on Friday the 13th.
Bryce Stewart rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries, and Chisholm survived a bizarre turnover with less than two minutes remaining to hold off Class A No. 9 Fairview 14-6 Friday at the Yellowjackets’ Eubanks Field.
Stewart seemed to have all but sealed the game, scoring from the one-yard line with 2:15 left in the game after setting up the point-blank chance with a 26-yard run three plays earlier. And if he hadn’t, Dillon Pettis certainly had, recovering a squib on the following kickoff when the Yellowjackets couldn’t wrangle it in a crowd.
But a Danner Kiernan sweep to the right of Chisholm’s line – which had carved space for Longhorn runners throughout – went for 29 yards before Kiernan reached the ball to the right pylon of Fairview’s end zone to finally, unequivocally put the game, and Chisholm’s seven-loss streak to the Jackets, to bed.
But it didn’t.
Officials ruled that Kiernan fumbled during the stretch, and Fairview’s Joel Kliewer scooped up the loose ball and returned it from his own end zone to the Fairview 46 with 1:40 left, nearly breaking a tackle to break away and potentially level the score.
“All I saw was a guy get tripped up and a ball on the ground, and I picked it up and started running,” said Kliewer, who also rushed for 14 yards.
“I thought, ‘blow the whistle, blow the whistle, blow the whistle,’” said Chisholm head coach Joey Reinart. “I knew we had guys able to catch him, I was just hoping he didn’t slip out and get to the end zone. That would have been a travesty for our defense because they played so well … I didn’t see (the play). (Kiernan) knew what he was supposed to do. He was supposed to get to the sidelines, and if things got sketchy, just get down and run the clock out, but he’s a playmaker. He wants to make plays. He got his head down about it, but we trust him. He’ll know better next time.”
Fairview quarterback Jaden Dillard completed a 21-yard pass to Brett Fast at the Chisholm 43 on the next play, but the Longhorns forced four straight incompletions, three on passes deflected by sophomore Luke Ball, to seal a win and a 2-0 start.
“I knew they had to pass it, so I was just going to play back, and keep it all in front of me,” said Ball, who nearly intercepted two of the pass breakups. “Just make plays.”
“It’s a spark to actually push my team to state,” Stewart said. “I’ve never had a chance. We’ve never gone to state, so it’d be a big thing if we do.”
The last stand was the final stanza of a strong second half for Chisholm’s defense, which after surrendering 128 yards and nine first downs in the first two quarters, limited Fairview to 44 total yards and one first down in the second half.
Dillard completed 12-of-25 passes in the first half for 102 yards, a 19-yard score to Ryan Baldwin and an interception by Chisholm’s Karsten Brady, and rushed for 18 yards. In the final two frames, Dillard was 3-of-7 for 28 yards and rushed for 14 yards as Chisholm’s ball-control offense chewed clock and ground.
“Right now, we’re not executing very well,” said Fairview head coach Chris Cayot. “It’s an uphill climb. We’ve got the kids in place to do want we want to do, we’re just not executing.”
After a 57-yard touchdown run by Stewart gave Chisholm a 7-0 lead halfway through the first, Fairview’s offense responded with an up-tempo no huddle, finishing the opening frame with 28 plays to the Longhorns’ 10, including 9-of-14 passing for 62 yards and a score from Dillard.
But Fairview’s pace slowed in the final three quarters, snapping the ball just 28 more times combined, running only seven plays in the third and eight in the final frame.
“It’s (the coaches’) fault because we haven’t gotten into their brains that when we want to go fast, we want to go fast, like all the time, until we slow them down,” Cayot said.
Fairview’s best opportunities to take a lead came in the second, starting inside Chisholm’s 40-yard line on back-to-back drives from a Brandon Calwonsen fumble recovery that followed a Layne Button sack of Chisholm quarterback Taggart Brown, and after a short punt. The Yellowjackets fell short on fourth down to end the first chance, and a Stewart sack and a penalty forced a punt on the second.
Chisholm rushed for 95 of its 209 yards on the ground in the fourth, controlling the ball for most of the quarter.
Brown completed five of 13 passes for 47 yards in his second start for Chisholm, and Tanner Reed and Jake Curless each recorded a sack for the Longhorns, who visit Blackwell on Friday.
Button finished with two sacks and a catch for 16 yards, and Baldwin finished with five catches for 38 yards for Fairview (1-1), which hosts Tonkawa Friday.