Fairmont holds off Springfield to stay unbeaten in GWOC

KETTERING — Fairmont went to halftime Friday night pleased to be up 10-0 against Springfield. But certainly not comfortable.

Then Springfield coach Maurice Douglass turned to Ohio State-bound cornerback Aaron Scott to rescue the Wildcats by putting him at quarterback. Suddenly the Wildcats had an experienced and dynamic athlete with the ball in his hands. He ran for first downs. He threw for first downs.

As challenging as it was to contain Scott, Fairmont didn’t give in. Scott got in the end zone once, but the Firebirds intercepted him twice in the fourth quarter to hold on for a 10-7 Greater Western Ohio Conference Victory at Roush Stadium.

“We can’t do anything uninteresting here at Roush, I guess,” said Fairmont coach Dave Miller, whose team rallied in the fourth quarter two weeks ago at home to beat Northmont in overtime.

Scott threw for 56 yards and rushed for 71.

“Hoping for a speedy recovery for our starting quarterback to come back and everything will be back to normal,” Scott said. “I ain’t a quarterback. I’m a DB. But I’m doing what I can to try to help our team win.”

Fairmont led 10-0 at halftime on Justin Turner’s 1-yard touchdown run and Max Gehring’s 20-yard field goal as the first-half clock expired. It turned out to be enough for the Firebirds to improve to 4-2 and 3-0 in the GWOC along with Centerville and Wayne. Springfield, with starting quarterback Brent Upshaw out with a knee injury for at least another week, is an uncharacteristic 2-4, 1-2.

“They’re handling it as best you can expect,” Douglass said of the adversity his team has faced, including a loss to Wayne two weeks ago when Scott led the Wildcats back to the lead in the final minute only to be beaten by a kickoff return for a touchdown.

Scott made it interesting again for sure. He led a 69-yard, 11-play drive in the third quarter for the Wildcats’ only score. He gained first downs on runs of 11 and 35 yards to get the Cats into the red zone. He gained five yards on fourth-and-4 to get to the 3. On third-and-goal he scored from the 2.

Scott and the Wildcats had two more chances. At midfield Scott’s pass to the sideline was a little high and Stevie Doty intercepted with a toe tap to stay inbounds.

“We played him in middle school so we knew he could throw,” Doty said. “We just had to keep it contained. We’re not the most athletic team, but we’re for sure going to put in more effort, and it clearly showed tonight.”

Springfield’s defense held and Scott got another chance, but the Wildcats had to start from their 11 after a long punt. On fourth-and-3, Scott completed and 18-yard pass to Duncan Bradley at the Fairmont 29. On third down from the 28, Scott’s pass to the end zone slipped through the outstretched hands of Da’Shawn Martin. On fourth down, Scott tried to hit Martin at the first-down stick but Daniel Seaton jumped in front for the interception with 35 seconds left.

“He made some plays for us, and I wish he would just keep his head up and keep fighting,” Douglass said of Scott.

Miller loves defense and he knows that unit is making the difference right now.

“They’ve been doing that last three weeks, really four weeks,” he said. “We talk a lot about resiliency and just work hard. Don’t worry about what bad things are happening. You got to play the next play. So credit to our kids.”

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