Fry, Carnahan lead way as Trojans drop Chariton
It took them until the ninth week, but the Fairfield football team finally put it all together Friday night.
Just in the nick of time, too.
Dillon Fry threw for 167 yards and was responsible for three total touchdowns and the Trojans played their best game of an up-and-down season, knocking off one-win Chariton 25-13 on Senior Night in Fairfield.
“We really wanted this win and felt it was an important game,” said Fry. “It was important to us seniors to win our final game at home.”
Mason Carnahan complemented the senior quarterback with 161 rushing yards on 26 attempts, including one lengthy run of 62 yards and a six-yard touchdown in the fourth period. Fairfield’s defense, which has sometimes struggled with giving up big plays and third down conversions, allowed just 153 total yards. The Trojan defense again gave up a few big plays but was otherwise solid defending long passes, and the Chargers were just 2-of-14 on third down conversions.
“For the most part, tonight I thought we had the complete package both offensively and defensively,” said Fairfield head coach Mike Schenck.
Fairfield (3-6, 2-4 District 7) now has some much-needed momentum at a time when momentum means everything. After losing their first five games to open the season, the Trojans have won three of their last four games and are headed to the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
The Trojans will visit District 8 champion Winterset (6-3, 5-1), which upended ninth-ranked Pella 17-14 last week, in the opening round Wednesday.
Fry, who completed 11-of-17 of his passes, threw a pair of touchdowns in the first half to help Fairfield to a 12-0 lead at the intermission. Overall, seven of his passes went to senior Spencer Peterman, who totaled 101 yards receiving. Vince Horras made three catches for 51 yards and Justin Hammes caught one 15-yard pass.
“Dillon probably had his best game of the year, Spencer had some unbelievable catches and Justin had a great diving catch, as well,” said Schenck. “Our kids offensively did the job up front and opened up some big holes for us.”
The most important offensive statistic, however, was the zero turnovers by Fairfield’s starters. The Trojans had committed nine turnovers in their previous two district games, and although they committed one Friday, it was after the starters had been taken out of the game.
Both Fry and Peterman attributed their offensive success to their linemen.
“The line gave us a ton of time,” Fry said. “I think it allowed us to just run our offense and they did a good job opening up holes all night.”
After jetting out to the 12-0 lead, Fairfield was the first to score in the second half when Fry went to the ground and pounded in a one-yard touchdown.
Chariton answered back with a touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter to trim Fairfield’s lead to 18-7, but Carnahan put the game away when he found the end zone on a six-yard run with 6:33 remaining.
The Chargers tacked on one more touchdown in the final minute against Fairfield’s second string, yet the game was never as close as the final score would indicate.
In the first quarter, Fry capped an 89-yard drive with a 27-yard touchdown throw to Horras. Fairfield then took the 12-0 lead when Fry found Peterman in the corner of the end zone with 45 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Chargers (1-8, 1-5 District 8) only managed 30 rushing yards against Fairfield’s persistent front seven, led Friday by inside linebacker Aaron Gevock. The senior totaled nine tackles and a sack followed by senior defensive end Jake Mineart with six tackles and a sack. Seth Davisson had six tackles, while Kooper Dahlstrom, Jonny Swanson and Hammes tallied four apiece.
“It was a nice way for our seniors to end their season here at home,” said Schenck. “I think it’s important for them to go out with a win because that’s what they’re going to remember.
“I think we’ve had a lot of trials and tribulations throughout the year and the kids have stayed above it. I’m extremely proud of them for that.”
Fry, for one, is looking forward to continuing his senior campaign in the playoffs.
“That’s what Trojan football is all about,” said the quarterback, who will be making his second postseason appearance. “We knew it was important to get back to the playoffs and luckily we were able to.”
Fairfield’s first-round playoff game is set to begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Winterset.
Fairfield 25, Chariton 13
18 First Downs 8
49-185 Rushing 29-30
11-17-167 Passing 11-28-123
352 Total Yards 153
2-0 TD-INT 2-0
1-1 Fumbles-lost 0-0
5-25 Penalties-yards 5-45
1st — 2:02 (FF) Fry 27-pass to Horras (pass failed)
2nd — 0:45 (FF) Fry 15-pass to Peterman (pass failed)
3rd — 0:32 (FF) Fry 1-run (kick failed)
4th — 9:44 (C) Bengtson 22-pass to Hockenson (Wright kick); 6:15 (FF) Carnahan 6-rush (Carr kick); 0:46 (C) Bengtson 32-pass to McCurdy (run failed)
Rushing — (FF) Carnahan 26-161 (TD), Fry 17-15 (TD), Nye 2-6, Dahlstrom 1-5, T. Deao 3-(-2); (C) Schultz 9-24, Isley 3-19, Blue 7-16, Hockenson 1-0, Nance 1-(-7), Hall 3-(-9), Bengtson 5-(-13)
Passing — (FF) Fry 11-17-167 (2TD); (C) Bengtson 11-28-123 (2TD)
Receiving — (FF) Peterman 7-101 (TD), Horras 3-51 (TD), Hammes 1-15; (C) Hockenson 4-81 (TD), Isley 3-31, McCurdy 2-5 (TD), Hall 1-3, Schultz 1-3
Tackles — (FF) Gevock 9 (sack), Mineart 6 (sack), Davisson 6, Dahlstrom 4, Hammes 4, Swanson 4, Jaquez 3, Leonard 2, Carnahan, A. Deao, Dimmitt 1, Hammel 1, Horras 1, Kessel 1, Martin 1, Peterman 1, Schwarz 1