Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

September 14, 2013

Offensive explosion OK for Eagles

Aaron Snyder
The Independent

WESTWOOD — When each team reaches the half-century mark in points, three hours can seem like a decade.

Friday night’s odyssey between Fairview and Bellevue took 3 hours, 12 minutes, to be exact.

Fairview used six rushers to rack up 510 yards on the ground in a 62-50 win that featured 16 total touchdowns, 24 penalties in all and a whopping 55 points in the third quarter.

The offensive marathon might incline defensive coaches to run, hide and maybe even throw a few things in the locker room, but Fairview was doing all the running and Bellevue took care of the throwing.

Fairview sophomore Tanner Dolen notched a career-high 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while junior Isaiah King added 147 yards and four scores.

Tigers senior quarterback Tyler Ackerson tallied 377 passing yards and five touchdowns, completing 27 of 51 attempts. Blake Stephenson caught eight balls for 154 yards and a TD.

“I knew Bellevue would come in and fight us,” said Fairview coach Nathan McPeek. “They have a good quarterback, a winning tradition ... they just ran out of gas at the end of the game and we just started pounding them a little bit by using the strength of our football team, the offensive line.

After the Tigers’ Alec Hazeres returned a fumble for a touchdown from 10 yards out to trim Fairview’s lead to 56-50 with 10:56 to go, the Eagles took control.

Logan Thovson and Dan Metzler came up with some key defensive stops, including a sack apiece, in the fourth quarter as Fairview finally applied some pressure on Ackerson. For much of the night, he roamed free and found his targets.

Fairview’s regular-season-game winning streak — now at 24 — appeared to be in danger after Ackerson hooked up with Zach Poinsett for a 20-yard score with 10:04 left in the third quarter. It gave the Tigers a 26-23 lead.

The floodgates, though, were officially open for both teams in a crazy third period.

Fairview’s Armonde Yetts found the end zone two minutes later, King followed less than two minutes after that and then Ackerson and Poinsett again collaborated for a score.

Dolen then shed tacklers with a 49-yard TD run that looked like a tire-stepping drill to give Fairview a 43-34 lead.

Bellevue (1-3) answered the bell once again, this time with an eight-point sequence that saw Dylan Huff receive a pass from Ackerson and then turn around and throw a two-point pass to Ackerson.

Dolen and Kurtlen Brown each accounted for long touchdown runs — 57 and 36 yards, respectively — to bookend a Fairview defensive stand that resulted in a Bellevue turnover on downs. Brown’s score was the eighth and final one of the third period.

Fairview (3-0) seized control of the clock following its third lost fumble of the night, one that resulted in Hazeres’ aforementioned TD.

King punched the Eagles’ final TD in from one yard out with 4:21 to go.

The 62-50 outcome was the second such result in Class A this season. Pikeville beat Hazard by that same score earlier this season.

McPeek was relieved to get the victory, but he wasn’t pleased with the amount of penalties once again. A week after committing 13 miscues for 135 yards, the Eagles duplicated those numbers.

“The thing that upsets me is we spent an hour on Monday talking about those penalties against Lawrence County,” McPeek said. “We’ve got to figure out that’s hurting our team. That comes with maturity. We have the talent to make a run, but our No. 1 weakness right now is immaturity. It’s my job to fix it.”

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.