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Football: Defense, special teams lead Fairview over Rangeview

Mark Leffingwell
Fairview’s Ben Meyer runs for one of his three touchdowns on Thursday against Rangeview.

Ninety-four yards of total offense through two-plus quarters of football is usually a bad sign.

For the Fairview Knights on Friday night, the tally was enough for a two-touchdown lead.

Glowing defense and special teams set up the FHS offense with a short field for all of its scoring drives en route to a 28-6 victory over Rangeview at Recht Field.

The Knights snared three interceptions, returned a kickoff 72 yards and twice sacked the Raiders punter on fourth down to set up a three-touchdown night by tailback Ben Meyer.

The defense, which has given up a total of nine points in two games so far, was dominant.

While FHS (2-0) mustered just 186 yards, Rangeview (0-2) managed just 176. The outputs were quite a turnaround from the 50-47 shootout between the teams last year that was won by a Rangeview squad that finished the year 11-1.

“As we kind of keep finding ourselves on offense and keep trying to get consistent, we need the defense to fall back on,” Fairview coach Tom McCartney said. “And we’ve beenreal fortunate the last two weeks.”

Jay Brown led the way with a pair of interceptions and a couple of other big pass breakups.

Twice before halftime, Rangeview had chances to change the momentum of the game.

FHS led 7-0 when the Raiders started at the Knights’ 17-yard line thanks to an interception of their own. But after Rangeview picked up a first down and goal on the 5, the Knights held the Raiders on downs.

Rangeview drove for a touchdown on its next drive. But Brown crushed the Raiders receiver at the goal line on the ensuing two-point try to break up the play, and FHS nursed a 7-6 lead into the intermission.

“Those were really big,” Brown said of the stops. “That just got our team a lot of momentum and got us ready to go.”

With kicker/punter Ben Handy sidelined by injury last week, Rangeview struggled mightily in the kicking game. And FHS took full advantage.

Cameron Frazier returned the opening kickoff of the second half to the Rangeview 23. Three plays later, Meyer sprinted into the end zone from 6 yards out for his second score and a 14-6 lead.

Fairview held Rangeview on its next possession, and sacked punter Austin Papike on an ill-advised fake attempt. The next play Meyer scampered in from 15 yards out to make it 21-6 with 9 minutes to go in the third quarter.

After scoring drives of 35, 23 and 15 yards, the Knights’ final scoring drive went 55 yards in two plays. Quarterback Mike McVenes raced up the middle for 23 yards and the score after a 32-yard run by Meyer.

Meyer finished with 82 yards on eight carries one week after injuring his hamstring on his first carry of the season opener.

“I was just trying to nurse it back,” said Meyer, who practiced little during the week. “Game-time decision, I decided to play, and it turned out pretty good.”

Tailback Armon Brown led the way for Rangeview with 58 yards and a touchdown rushing on 14 carries.

But RHS, trying to replace eight starters on offense off of last year’s juggernaut that averaged 45 points per game, struggled to move the ball consistently for most of the night.

The two times the Raiders did threaten in the second half, Brown and fellow cornerback Colin Brown — no relation — notched interceptions.

Max Newey added a sack for the FHS defense, while linebacker Jack Madden and Sevrin Remmo also made their share of plays.

“I think our team, we know how to huddle up, get together, clear our minds and just go out there and get the next play,” Jay Brown said of the defense.

Fairview 28, Rangeview 6

At Recht Field

Rangeview (0-2) 0 3 0 0 — 6

Fairview (2-0) 7 0 21 0 — 28

SCORING SUMMARY

First quarter

Fairview — Ben Meyer 17 run (Patrick Rios kick).

Second quarter

Rangeview — Armon Brown 1 run (pass failed).

Third quarter

Fairview — Meyer 6 run (Rios kick).

Fairview — Meyer 15 run (Rios kick).

Fourth quarter

Fairview — Mike McVenes 23 run (Rios kick).

RHS FHS

First downs 13 11

Rushing yardage 48-117 37-169

Passing yardage 59 17

Passing 3-13-3 2-4-1

Punting 3-26 3-46

Fumbles-fumbles lost 3-0 3-0

Penalty yardage 4-36 4-31

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Rangeview: Brown 14-58, Harris 19-46, Zuhse 11-12, Bloyer 1-8, Papike 2-5, Kami 1-(-12); Fairview: Meyer 8-82, McVenes 10-35, Sharr 11-29, Hill 4-9, Madden 1-7, Frazier 2-4, Belford 1-3.

PASSING — Rangeview: Zuhse 3-13-3, 59 yards; Fairview: McVenes 2-4-1, 17 yards.

RECEIVING — Rangeview: Lyle 2-60, Bloyer 1-(-1); Fairview: Frazier 1-15, Scheifele 1-2.