Football ~ Eagles stopped short

“Our kids didn’t quit, we weren’t taking advantage of our opportunities. We had two chances in the second quarter inside the ten and didn’t score,” recalled Coach Lee Etzler.  “We were just a play or two short, or we would have won the game.”

Fairfield came out aggressive recovering an onside kick. Then advancing to the Eagle 19 in eight plays resulting in a 29 yard field goal for a quick 3-0 Falcon lead. 

The Eagles’ first possession saw them convert a fourth and three, on a 16 yard run by Bryce Shively to the Fairfield 46 yard line. On the next play ‘Busco fumbled and the Falcons recovered. 

Fairfield went to the air as Chase Pinion hit Darin Hochstetler for a 59 yard touchdown pass. With the extra point Fairfield lead 10-0. The Eagle offense went to work as they drove to the Falcons’ four yard line on 12 plays only to be stopped on fourth down by the stingy Fairfield defense.

Churubusco’s defense held the Falcons’ and forced them to punt after three plays. The Eagles quickly put the ball in the end zone on just five plays, on a ten yard run by Kyle Mathewson. Fairfield answered with a touchdown of their own on their next possession, making the score 17-6. 

With only four minutes remaining in the half ‘Busco went to their power backs. As Mathewson rambled for twenty yards to the 36 Jordan Hamilton took the ball to the 27 on a nine yard run. Mathewson carried again for 16 yards down to the 11 yard line but the Falcon defense stiffened, stopping the Eagles again inside the five yard line.

The third quarter was scoreless as the teams got a first down and then had to punt. The Eagles ran out the last three minutes in the third quarter, with a drive  that resulted in a 13 yard touchdown run by Mathewson. With the two point conversion that put the Eagles down 17-14 with nine minutes remaining.

A fired up Eagle defense forced the Falcons to punt after three plays. Churubusco kept the momentum going on offense as they got a first down at the Falcon 41 yard line. Hamilton ran a sweep to the Eagle sidelines and kept it in bounds. By the time he was stopped at the one yard line, most of the players were in the pile, looking like a rugby match. After losing a yard, Mathewson fought hard for yardage and  fumbled the ball into the end zone. As Churubusco hearts began to sink Spencer Conrad came up with the ball for the Eagle touchdown, giving Busco a 22-17 lead. 

On Fairfield’s next drive they opened with a six yard run. The following play Pinion hit Tanner Foust in the flats. Foust got by a Busco defender and raced down the sidelines for the touchdown putting the Falcons up 24-22 with 2:31 left in the game.  

The Eagle offense never gave up as they drove down the field. As time ran out Monk hit Nicodemus at the five. 

“Unfortunately we gave up the big pass play in the fourth quarter, other than that our defense played outstanding in the second half,” stated Coach Etzler. “We are still in the hunt for the Conference title, so we need to have a good week of practice and play hard next Friday. We still have a shot at it.”

The Eagles are still in the race for the Conference title as they travel to Lakeland this Friday night. A Churubusco win will force a three way tie for the Conference title.

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