The Fairfield/Augusta football team defeated Townsend 41-13 in the first round of the Class B playoffs to advance to the quarterfinals against Florence-Carlton on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. in Fairfield.
Florence-Carlton rolled over Shepherd 59-6 to advance.
The Eagles have played the Falcons twice in Fairfield during playoffs in previous years. The Eagles won both contests — 2017 in the first round, 56-14, and 2001 in the second round, 31-26.
Looking at playoff history, the Eagles have more experience going into the contest. Florence has only advanced to the semi's once in the school’s history (in 1996) and hasn’t played for a championship.
As the returning state champions, Fairfield/Augusta haven’t lost in the second round of the playoffs since 2014. They have not lost a game at home, including regular season and post-season, since 2012.
Despite past history, Coach Meyer stresses the playoffs are a one-game season. Playoff experience is part of the package, but both teams have the potential to win. Meyer said at this stage of the season, all of the teams are good and everyone better show up ready to play or they will be done.
Meyer is expecting a very competitive game against Florence-Carlton. “We played them two years ago in playoffs when they had solid sophomores then,” Meyer said. “Those players are now seniors and have a lot more experience.”
“They’ve had a good season, suffering some midseason injuries, but most of those players are now back,” Meyer said. According to Meyer, Florence-Carlton has a strong and fast quarterback, good running backs and just some good, solid athletes. They are similar to Glasgow with a few twists, Meyer added.
The Eagles played a physical game against Townsend and have the nicks and bruises common with this point of the season. They may be down one player who was injured; time will tell.
“The Townsend game was hard fought,” Meyer said. The Eagles lead 14-0 going into the half. From watching film, Meyer said they knew the Townsend quarterback hadn’t been touched all season. The Eagles weren’t able to bring him down either, but added some pressure to make him a little more rushed, Meyer said.
Townsend put up the first score in the third quarter, edging back into the contest, 14-6. Fairfield answered with an 82-yard kickoff return to widen the gap, 21-6. Townsend scored again in the third bringing the score to 21-14.
The Eagles hit their stride in the fourth quarter off touchdowns by Miguel Perez and quarterback Keeley Bake and Gavin Mills on a pass from Bake. Bake and Conor Murray both scored in the first half and Perez in the third quarter.
Bake had 213 yards passing, completing 16 of his 24 passes. He had a total of 113 yards rushing on 16 carries. Gaice Blackwell carried the ball 11 times for 36 yards. Overall, the Eagles had 172 yards rushing.
Murray was the leading receiver, catching seven passes for 86 yards. Daniel Faith caught three passes for 60 yards and Mills caught three passes for 59 yards. The Eagles had 213 yards in the air.
“Our special teams had a good game,” Meyer said. He spoke of a good kickoff return by Perez and a nice blocked pass by Kaelob Flores. Fairfield picked up a number of interceptions: Bake with two and Murray, Faith and Perez with one each.
Meyer said there weren’t any major surprises going into the quarterfinals. “There were a few games that were closer than anticipated but everyone who was expected to advance has,” he said. “There are some pretty talented teams left, which should make for a competitive game.”
In addition to the Fairfield/Augusta and Florence-Carlton game, other contests are Missoula Loyola at Manhattan/Manhattan Christian, Columbus at Eureka and Malta/Whitewater/Saco/Dodson at Red Lodge/Roberts/Belfry.
Fairfield 14-0-7-20 — 41
Townsend 0-0-13-0 — 13
FHS — Keeley Bake 69-yd. run. (Kick failed.)
FHS — Conor Murray 28-yd. pass from Bake. (Miguel Perez 3-yd. run.)
Townsend — Gavin Vandenacre 43-yd. pass. (Kick blocked.)
FHS — Perez 82-yd. kickoff return. (Bake kick.)
Townsend — Dawson Sweat 11-yd. pass. (Kick good.)
FHS — Perez 10-yd. run. (Bake kick.)
FHS — Gavin Mills pass from Bake. (Bake kick.)
FHS — Bake 10-yd. run. (Bake kick.)