Win secures third place finish for Eagles
Salado Eagles held the Fairfield Eagles to just 100 yards in the second half, forcing the visiting team to punt twice and to turn the ball over on downs on their only trip into the red zone after halftime.
Meanwhile, the grinding Salado run game scored three more times to give Salado a 42-21 win and secure third place in District 8-4A, Div. 2, which is arguably the toughest small school district in the state.
With the win, Salado is seeded to face the second place team in District 7-4A,
Reid Vincent had his best game of the season, carrying the ball 21 times for 215 yards and a touchdown.
Hunter Turk also turned in another outstanding game, scoring two touchdowns and running for 133 yards on 24 touches.
Altogether Salado offense had its best game of the year with 494 yards rushing.
The first half was a back-and-forth battle as both teams scored on their first possessions.
Fairfield came out with Dequann McWilliams returning the opening kick to the Fairfield 45-yard line.
Jar-mychael Hudson took his first hand-off for 28 yards and a facemask against Salado tacked on 15 more to immediately put Fairfield in the Salado red zone. Four plays later, Hudson pushed in from the 3-yard line. Tyler Haynes kicked the extra point to give Fairfield a 7-0 lead at 10:33 in the first.
Salado answered with a methodical 62-yard drive, of seven plays, capped by Hutton Haire tucking in behind his center for a 2-yard quarterback sneak with 7:13 left in the first. Wrook Brown tied the game with the kick.
Fairfield quarterback Justin Abram fumbled the handoff to Hudson and Salado’s Lucas Morvant fell on the loose ball to give the hosting Eagles the ball at Fairfield’s 26-yard line. Vincent and Turk both knocked off good runs to move the ball to the Fairfield 5-yard line. Haire followed Dobbins block for 4 yards and then Noah Mescher ran in for a 1-yard score with 4:55 in the first. Brown kicked the point-after for Salado’s 14-7 lead.
Fairfield answered less than a minute later, thanks to a 61-yard run by Abram, setting up a first-and-goal at the Salado 4-yard line. On second down, he dove in from the 1-yard line Haynes tied the score at 14-14 with 4:14 left in the first.
Salado answered with a 16-play, 61-yard scoring drive. The Eagles were able to overcome a holding call that brought back a 21-yard touchdown run by Vincent. Salado turned the second-and-14 into a first down with a 5-yard run by Turk on fourth-and-2. A run by Mescher and two runs by Turk moved the ball to the 1-yard line for a Haire sneak on fourth-and-goal. The kick by Brown gave Salado a 21-14 lead.
Fairfield tied the game about six minutes later, driving 57 yards on 13 plays. Damarcus Hayes capped the drive with a 4-yard run. Haynes kicked the PAT to know the score at 21-21 with 3:17 left in the first half.
Salado couldn’t convert a scoring drive in the remaining three minutes and a field fake was stopped short of the goal line with time running out.
Salado started the third quarter with a 49-yard drive. Vincent ran the ball for 37 yards on first down to put Salado in the Fairfield red zone at the Eagles’ 12-yard line. He converted a third down to set up a first-and-goal at the Eagles’ 2-yard line with Turk diving from there with 10:06 left in the quarter. Brown kicked the PAT for the 28-21 lead.
Fairfield then 50 yards on the next series, but Peyton Miller stopped Hudson short on a fourth-and-4 to give Salado the ball at their own 9-yard line.
The hosting Eagles drove the length of the field in 10 plays with Vincent cutting through the Fairfield defensive backfield for a 38-yard touchdown run with 3:02 left in the third. Brown’s kick made it 35-21.
The Eagles defense held tough and forced Fairfield to punt from the Salado 49-yard line, a squibbler that was downed at the 24.
Salado then drove the ball 76 yards over the next six minutes, scoring on a 4-yard run by Turk with 7;12 left to play. Brown made it 42-21 with his kick.
The Eagle defense again forced Fairfield to punt on a fourth-and-11 and ran down the remaining 6:14 on the clock for the dominating win.