Eagles travel to rival Strafford on Friday
After a neck-and-neck first half, a strong second half lifted Fair Grove to a 58-32 win over Mid-Lakes Conference rival Stockton on Friday, Sept. 25, the night of the Eagles’ Homecoming festivities.
Stockton even led at times in the first and second quarters, but the Eagles came soaring back from halftime to dominate, both offensively and defensively.
“The first half wasn't what we wanted, but we played a lot better in the second half,” Fair Grove coach Bill Voorhis said.
Early in the first quarter, Ryken Adkins recovered a fumble for Fair Grove, setting the line of scrimmage at the Eagles’ 47-yard line. Runs by Adkins, Kody Stacye and Zeke Schaffitzel advanced Fair Grove to just 19 yards from the end zone. Stacye ran the ball in from there, giving the Eagles an early 6-0 lead with a little less than seven minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Stockton immediately answered with big kickoff return that earned the Tigers their first touchdown of the game. A successful two-point conversion put Stockton ahead 8-6 with about six and a half minutes remaining.
Logan Daniels reciprocated on Fair Grove’s behalf with a 77-yard kickoff return of his own for six points. With a two-point conversion pass from Tanner Lumley to Cooper Roy, the Eagles were up 14-8 with a little less than six and half minutes left.
A series of plays allowed Stockton to score on its next possession, on a 35-yard touchdown pass. This tied things up at 14 all with about a minute and a half left in the first.
Another long series of plays late in the second quarter provided the Tigers another opportunity to score, and they did, this time on a 5-yard run. With that, Stockton was ahead 20-14 with about four minutes left in the second.
Stockton soon after recovered a Fair Grove fumble, but the Eagles then replied by recovering a Stockton fumble. This set the Eagles up at the Tigers’ 29-yard line. Stacye managed to run the ball to the 20, and from there, he then ran it in for six more points. With a little more than a minute remaining in the second quarter, everything was tied up at 20 all.
A minute was more than enough time for both teams to score again. Stockton did first on its next possession. After a few plays, a 21-yard touchdown pass boosted Stockton’s lead to 26-20.
Just 17 seconds remained in the first half, but the Eagles still managed to score before time was up. A touchdown pass from quarterback Stacye to Samuel Sublett tied the game up at 26 all. Then Lumley connected with Stacye for a successful two-point conversion, which bumped Fair Grove’s advantage up to 28-26.
The Eagles’ defense struggled to contain Stockton some in the first half, but the Fair Grove defense and offense seemed to return from halftime with renewed vigor. Less than a minute into the third quarter, Fair Grove scored another touchdown. A big run by Sublett moved the Eagles to just 23 yards from the end zone, and another play got them 2 yards closer. From 21 yards out, Stacye sprinted the ball in for six more points. A successful two-point conversion pass to Blake Lewis gave Fair Grove a 36-26 lead with about 11 minutes left in the quarter.
The Eagles’ defense helped limit Stockton’s damage, thanks to tackles by Skylair Teague, Lumley, Jimmy Vasquez, Roy, Daniels, Brecken Lair, Adkins, Hayden Carver, Calvin Zuch, Jose Estrada, Schaffitzel, Lucas Crutcher, Kadyn Barnes and Kyle Fritts.
After a long series of plays, the Tigers were able to score on a 19-yard touchdown pass with just three and a half minutes remaining in the third. Fair Grove maintained a 36-32 advantage.
The Eagles quickly scored on their next possession. From the Eagles’ 47-yard line, runs by Stacye and Kade Gallion, and a pass to Matt Sutherland, helped advance Fair Grove to just 14 yards out. Stacye then connected with Gallion for a touchdown, and then Stacye followed up with a successful two-point conversion pass to Sutherland. With a little more than two and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter, Fair Grove was up 44-32.
Just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter, Daniels scored on a pick six after intercepting a Stockton pass. Stacye’s two-point conversion run was good, and Fair Grove had a sizable 52-32 lead.
The final touchdown of the game came with about seven minutes left. From the Tigers’ 30-yard line, runs by Adkins, Stacye and Schaffitzel moved the Eagles to just 5 yards from another touchdown. Adkins did the honors this time with a quick run to the end zone. The Eagles boosted their advantage to 58-32, and they ultimately finished with that score.
Fair Grove, 3-2, next plays at Strafford, 2-3, on Friday, Oct. 2.
“Strafford is 2-3, but they have lost to some really good teams,” Voorhis said. “They have an outstanding quarterback, and the coach tries to give him the opportunity to make plays as much as possible. We will have to stop him in order to win. Fair Grove is always a big game for Strafford, and I’m sure this year won’t be any different.”