High School Football: Fairmont follows up with another defeat of Alter


Fairmont’s program reversal last football season continues to reverberate through the Firebirds. A stunning season-opening defeat of Alter was followed by a rare playoff appearance. And the Firebirds are following that script again.

“It’s a learning process and really what our team needed,” said Firebirds senior running back Jesse Deglow, who scored the winning touchdown with 14 seconds left to clinch another season-opening knockout of Alter, this time 12-6 at packed Roush Stadium on Thursday night.

“Going through the rest of the season, it’s going to be a really good confidence booster for us.”

»RELATED: New Dunbar coach looking to carry on tradition, legacy

»RELATED: Rams looking for the next ‘you’

Loaded with a senior-dominated team, many of whom are three-year starters, Fairmont looked every bit the equal of Alter. That wasn’t so when Alter had its way with Fairmont for 12 straight openers until last season, a 13-12 Fairmont upset. And now Fairmont has done it again.

“We’re setting tradition,” beamed Fairmont senior defensive end Jonas Smith, whose second fumble recovery set up the winning drive. “We’re setting a path for the future.”

»RELATED: Week 1 high school football schedule

»RELATED: ‘Playing up’ should be rewarded

Both teams were offensively challenged throughout. Alter had 179 yards of total offense and Fairmont 159.

Fairmont’s Asher Rohm had field goals of 32 and 25 yards. He was matched by Alter’s Jack Ruffolo, who connected on kicks of 32 and 29 yards.

»OHSAA: Will contest GCL Co-Ed lawsuit

»RELATED: 5 things about the Mighty MAC

The rivals appeared destined for overtime. That changed when Fairmont senior quarterback Braden Miller, the son of Firebirds head coach Dave Miller, completed his only pass, a 34-yarder to senior Marquies Williams in the final minute.

Stopped at Alter’s 1-yard line, Deglow vaulted over the middle of the line on the next play for the game-winner. Fairmont fans rocked the stadium in approval and the Firebirds celebrated likewise. Alter’s final pass attempt was intercepted by Ryan Hall and Fairmont celebrated more.

»RELATED: CCC preseason preview

»RELATED: SWBL Southwestern preseason preview

Defense dominated for both teams. Firebirds senior linebacker Trey Baker had 10 tackles and an interception. Alter senior quarterback Connor Bazelak, who’s committed to the University of Missouri, completed seven passes for just 55 yards and was intercepted twice. That was part of four turnovers that continually undermined the Knights. Fairmont had none.

“Whether it’s uncharacteristic or not, we made the mistakes and Fairmont did not make those same kinds of mistakes,” veteran Alter coach Ed Domsitz said. “The (Alter) defense did an amazing job until the last drive. They struggled and Fairmont took advantage of that.”

»RELATED: Alter Knights photo gallery

»RELATED: SWBL Buckeye preseason preview

It was another significant season-opening statement by Fairmont, which went 7-4 last season following 1-9 in 2016, Miller’s first as coach. Fairmont is at top-ranked Northmont in a Week 2 Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover matchup.

“It’s a credit to our kids that (the process) is working,” Miller said. “They came to work two years ago. We never had below 50 in our weight room and this year the same thing. They’re starting to understand what hard work and paying the price does for you. I’m hugely proud of all of them. This is so neat.”

»RELATED: GCL Co-Ed North preseason preview

»RELATED: GWOC National West football preview

»RELATED: Centerville will host Alter in Week 3

Alter, 9-2 last season, won out in the regular season after losing to Fairmont in 2017.

“They’re a bonified, good football team,” said Domsitz, whose Knights play Thurgood Marshall at Welcome Stadium on Thursday in Week 2. “We need to rebound with some resolve. That’s what great teams do.”

»FACEBOOK: For more sports you should like Marc Pendleton

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Wittenberg Tigers blast Kenyon 45-3 to improve to 3-0
Wittenberg Tigers blast Kenyon 45-3 to improve to 3-0

Wittenberg University junior Nick Kendall knew he had to pay homage to the players who came before him. After finishing a 75-yard touchdown run, Kendall ran over the alumni section in attendance for Champions Night where he gave high-fives to multiple former Tigers football players. Kendall finished with 113 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries as...
Report: Ohio State discussing ‘coach-in-waiting’ scenario with Ryan Day
Report: Ohio State discussing ‘coach-in-waiting’ scenario with Ryan Day

Ryan Day returned to his role as Ohio State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Saturday after leading the Buckeyes to a 3-0 start.  He was filling in for head coach Urban Meyer, who was suspended after a university investigation found he mismanaged the employment of receivers coach Zach Smith.  >>GAME STORY: Ohio State crushes...
Cincinnati Bengals: 5 storylines to watch in today’s game at Carolina
Cincinnati Bengals: 5 storylines to watch in today’s game at Carolina

The Cincinnati Bengals are looking for their first 3-0 start in three years when they face the Carolina Panthers on the road Sunday. The Bengals opened the 2015 season 8-0 and went on to make the playoffs for a fifth straight year but haven’t been back since. This season already feels much different than a year ago when they finished 7-9 for...
Ohio State notes: Haskins continues to showcase accuracy
Ohio State notes: Haskins continues to showcase accuracy

J.T. Barrett broke almost all the school passing records the last four seasons, not to mention a bunch of Big Ten marks. The way he’s playing in his first season as a starter, Dwayne Haskins won’t stick around the college game long enough to challenge any career marks. Haskins continued to compile stats worthy of the Heisman Trophy in his...
HS Roundup 9/22: Packnett paces Dunbar football in win over Woodward

Greg Packnett passed for 145 yards and three touchdowns in helping spur Dunbar football to a 22-20 win versus Woodward at Welcome Stadium on Saturday night. Packnett connected with James Murray and Bryce Smith on TD passes in the first half and hit Jaquan Lusbourgh with the go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter. Aaron Richardson tacked on the...
More Stories