Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | May 22, 2017

Fired-up Trojans blast Chiefs

By ALLAN MANDELL, Ledger sports editor | May 17, 2017
Photo by: ALLAN MANDELL Trojan Jordan Guezimane (4) races past Keokuk’s Brendan Plate to gain possession during first-half play on Monday.

 

 

On April 20, the host Keokuk Chiefs defeated Fairfield, 8-3.

The loss had stung the Trojan players.

On Monday at Fairfield, the pregame pep talk by Fairfield head coach Felisto Guezimane ignited the Trojan players.

Keokuk was in town for the rematch.

“We all remembered getting beat 8-3 last time,” said Trojan defender Eric Swan. “Today, our coach heard their goalie actually say to his coach, ‘Hey, Coach, if we’re up 8-0 again, can I go up and play striker?’

“So when we were in the huddle before the game, Coach said to us, ‘I take that as an insult and I hope you guys are very ticked off and take it as an insult, too.’ So we just took it as an insult — and we drove it at them.”

Indeed they did. And they didn’t wait long.

With the contest less than 70 seconds old, Swan made a sweet pass to Chaysten Titus who promptly blasted a 10-yarder past Chief goalie Isaac Dunlap and into the net.

“Eric Swan was on the left side and I gave him a call and he wove that pass between all their players,” Titus said. “I was impressed. That pass came right to me. You have to do a pass like that justice and that’s to finish things off with a score.”

And Fairfield kept scoring.

Forward Brayden Miller tallied less than 70 seconds after the goal by Titus, and Shawn Spurrier scored with 12:57 left in the half, upping the Trojan lead to 3-0.

Ahead 3-1 at halftime, Fairfield upped its advantage to 5-1 in the second frame off scores by Miller and Nicholas Frisbie, ultimately leaving Trojan Stadium with a 5-2 Southeast Conference victory.

“Keokuk was expecting to slaughter us,” Titus said. “It was great to prove them wrong.”

The Chiefs entered the contest undefeated in conference action. They finished the contest with slumped shoulders.

“We locked them down,” said Trojan defender Jose Rojo. “We had worked hard at practice to get ready for them. They were hanging their heads all game.”

Rojo, Swan, midfielders Jordan Guezimane, Kobe Cassens-Navesse and Austin Winslow didn’t allow Keokuk to sustain any kind of offensive rhythm.

And Kolten Webber, playing sweeper, was especially effective.

“The last time we played Keokuk, we had some huge defensive flubs,” Webber said. “This time around, we held our ground. We decided we’d lock down. On every single shot, we wanted to make sure we had a foot on it. We wanted to stay in front of them all the time. We wanted to make them work, not give up any easy goals.”

All the while, Fairfield never stopped working on offense.

The play of the game was made by Spurrier.

Up 2-0 with 13:10 left in the first half, Spurrier battled Keokuk’s top defender Andrew Patterson for possession 15 yards in front of the Chief net.

Spurrier took a shot, Patterson blocked it.

Patterson tried to clear, Spurrier stopped the clear. The duo kept scrambling.

Then Spurrier outfought Patterson for the ball — and delivered a 12-yarder into the lower-left corner of the net past a stunned Dunlap.

“I just stayed after it,” Spurrier said. “I knew their defender was a little faster than me but it’s all about staying with the play and getting after it. Sometimes it just comes down to who wants it more.”

Up 3-1 with 21:40 left to play, Miller delivered an on-the-money 20-yard pass to Frisbie.

Frisbie took a little shoving from a Keokuk defender but still kept his feet, then delivered a 9-yarder past Dunlap.

“Their defender tried to come in and side-tackle me from behind,” Frisbie said. “But I kept my feet up and smashed that ball as hard as I could. It was a beautiful pass from Brayden. I immediately went over to him directly and thanked him.”

And thanks to this win, Fairfield has a shot at earning a co-conference championship.

The Trojans (7-5, 5-2 SEC) must defeat host Washington on Thursday and hope Mt. Pleasant can beat Keokuk (10-4, 6-1). Should Fairfield and Mt. Pleasant win, all three teams would finish the season 6-2 in conference action.

“We’re playing better now,” Miller said. “We’re starting off our games more intense. We’re getting after it right from the start.”

Said Spurrier, “It’s all about passion now. It’s how we played tonight against Keokuk — with passion. That’s how we got it done tonight and what we must keep doing.”

 

 

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