Fairfield playoff berth overshadows loss to Chariton
The Trojans won and lost on the same night.
As the clock ticked down Friday on Fairfield’s 34-28 loss to non-district foe Chariton, Washington was miles away wrapping up a victory over Centerville. This outcome, combined with Keokuk’s victory over Fort Madison, forced a three-way tie for third place in Class 3A District 7. Fairfield, Centerville, and Keokuk finished the year with identical district records, which means points scored in district games became the tiebreaker.
Any win or loss that is 13 points or more counts as plus or minus 13 in the overall points standings. Centerville finished the season with a minus one point differential, putting them third in the district. Fairfield finished at minus three, which is 12 points ahead of Keokuk, putting the Trojans in the playoffs and sending the Chiefs home.
Because of the three-way tie, Keokuk’s head-to-head victory over Fairfield means nothing.
Fairfield began play at Chariton not knowing its playoff fate. The Trojans got off to a poor start, turning the ball over and going down 21-0 in the first half. The score was 28-14 at halftime.
Fairfield (4-5) would make a second half comeback and tie the game at 28 in the fourth quarter. A fumble would set up Chariton (4-5) in position to score another touchdown, but they failed to convert on the extra point after punching in the score. The Trojans had time to match Chariton, but could never make it down field.
“We had plenty of time to score in the fourth quarter,” Fairfield coach Mike Schenck said. “We just couldn’t get any drives going.”
Quarterback Cameron Baumann was forced to pass more than normal because of the score. Baumann went 16 for 37 through the air with 215 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Running back Nick Jackson, who is still battling a shoulder separation, was kept out of the game because of soreness. His absence was felt, as Fairfield could only muster a total of 67 rushing yards as a team. Baumann only had 12 yards rushing, yet he did score both of Fairfield’s rushing touchdowns.
Alex Crile and Alex Shier led the Trojans in receiving with five catches each. Crile and Jonathan Hoehne each caught a touchdown. Senior Mason Ellis led the team in tackles with nine. Alex Christensen, Dakota Nye and Justin Leonard each had seven.
The Trojans now have to look ahead to undefeated Pella. Pella plays with power, and offensively they keep the ball on the ground.
“They have an outstanding running attack,” Schenck said. “They don’t want to throw the football. They want to run it right at you. It’s basically power football.”
Sophomore Noah Clayberg is a dual threat quarterback who leads the team in rushing with 906 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season.
“It will be a real challenge for our kids,” Schenck said.
The Trojans play Pella at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Pella.
Washington wins Class 3A District 7 after going undefeated in district play. Washington’s only loss came at the hands of Pella, Fairfield’s first round playoff opponent. The Trojans get into the playoffs over Keokuk because of the three-way tie for third.
Team, Overall Record, District Record
Washington 8-1 6-0
Williamsburg 7-2 5-1
Centerville 4-5 3-3
Fairfield 4-5 3-3
Keokuk 4-5 3-3
Fort Madison 2-7 1-5
Mt. Pleasant 0-9 0-6
Class 3A District 7 Games (10/25)
Chariton 34, Fairfield 28
Williamsburg 51, Mount Pleasant 6
Washington 63, Centerville 3
Keokuk 28, Fort Madison 21
Fairfield @ Pella
Carlisle @ Washington
Norwalk @ Williamsburg
Centerville @ Oskaloosa