Fairview rallies to set up first-place clash

Yellow Jackets score 27 second-half points to knock off White House Heritage

WHITE HOUSE – Doc Brown has nothing on Fairview head coach Chris Hughes.

Down 14-6 at halftime, the Yellow Jackets went “back to the future” to rally for a 33-14 victory at White House Heritage.

“We were losing. Let’s say it like it was,” Hughes noted. “The first half White House Heritage punched us in the mouth and took it to us. I told our guys, listen, it’s your season. I can call every play on here (his play sheet), but you’re the ones that are out there. If you want to go where we want to go, you have to go out there and be disciplined and be physical … and get this game. And they responded.”

Crawford Claxton and Layden Grant posted two second-half scores each as the Yellow Jackets scored the game’s final 27 points while holding the Patriots to a single score after the half.

“We’ve always been a second-half team, but that first half was rough,” Claxton said. “We needed to be physical, physical, and fast and that’s what we did. We just go back to basics. (Defensively) we made some adjustments at halftime … because they were running all over us.”

“(Hughes said) we weren’t playing as physical as we could,” Grant recalled. “We were getting beat off the line and they were out-physicaling us.”

The Patriots (3-3 overall, 1-1 Region 6-3A) received the second-half kickoff and on the first play from scrimmage, disaster struck for White House Heritage. A backward swing pass from Francis bounced short and off Malakhai Illaramendi’s hands, and Claxton picked it up, returning it inside the Patriot 10-yard line.

“They were running the pick screen and they throw it in the dirt and I just hear coach screaming ‘Get on the ball, get on the ball,’” Claxton said. “We been practicing, and I just know. No one was going after it. It was a turning point, honestly.”

On the very next play, Grant bulldozed his way into the endzone to cut the deficit to 14-12. Grant finished with 227 rushing yards on 22 carries.

The Yellow Jackets (4-2, 3-0) took their first lead in the game when Claxton, lined up in the Wildcat formation, sprinted 33 yards late in the third quarter. Pendergrass scored the two-point try to make it 20-14.

The Patriots looked to get back on top on the next drive, as Francis loped 48 yards for a tying score, but the play was called back for holding. Two successive penalties led to a first-and-41, and the drive died out.

Entering the fourth quarter and with Fairview shutting down the run, the Patriots were forced to go to the air, and while Francis was able to move the chains by scrambling, the inability to sustain drives wore down the defense. The Yellow Jackets were able to tack on two scores in the last 5:37 of the game, a Claxton 26-yard run and a Grant 52-yard sprint for the final score.

“We got to learn and get better because the rest of the schedule is going to be tough, and Fairview is as good of a team as we’ve seen,” Dickerson said. “We know we’re good enough to play with those types of teams. Playing tough ball games, you learn a lot of lessons that you can’t teach when it’s easy. That’s going to be what we get from this. We’re going to be better from it.”

Illaramendi scored both White House Heritage touchdowns, an 11-yard run in the first quarter and a 4-yard touchdown run late in the first half.

The Yellow Jackets will return to the city of White House next week, traveling to face White House in a battle that will determine first place in the region. White House Heritage will host Cheatham County.

SPRINGFIELD 47, KENWOOD 0

Fairview (4-2, 3-0 6-3A) White House Heritage (3-3, 1-1)1st2nd3rd4thFinal
Fairview06141333
White House Heritage770014

SCORING SUMMARY

1st Quarter

W – Malakhai Illaramendi 11 run, 5:11. Zanyar Omar kick.

2nd Quarter

F – Crawford Claxton 14 run, 9:24. Pass failed.

W – Illaramendi 4 run, 6:30. Omar kick.

3rd Quarter

F – Layden Grant 6 run, 5:42. Kennedy Pendergrass run.

F – Claxton 33 run, 3:03. Chandler Kelley kick.

4th Quarter

F – Claxton 26 run, 5:37. Run failed.

F – Layden Grant 52 run, 3:40. Kelley kick.

 FairviewWhite House Heritage
First Downs1511
Rushes-Yards31-38032-123
Pass Attempts-Completions- Interceptions13-5-120-9-2
Passing Yards5089
Punts – Avg  
Fumbles-Lost0-02-1
Penalties3-253-30

INDIVIDUAL STATS

Rushing

Fairview: Layden Grant 21-227, Crawford Claxton 9-115, Kennedy Pendergrass 4-16, Jacob Clevenger 1-16, Dylan Sulivan 1-6, Kendrick Curtis 1-0.

White House Heritage: Malakhai Illaramendi 17-70, Damian Dobak 4-30, Taye Francis 7-14, Ryan Keith 1-9.

Passing

Fairview: Kennedy Pendergrass 5-13-1 50.

White House Heritage: Taye Francis 9-20-2 89.

Receiving

Fairview: Morgan Jean 3-40, Crawford Claxton 1-12, Layden Grant 1-(-2).

White House Heritage: CJ Jones 2-14, Brandor Rosa 2-11, Dontarrious Teasley 2-13, Adrian Bonilla 1-31, Malakhai Illaramendi 1-14, Damian Dobak 1-9.

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