ARVADA — With Arvada West threatening to turn what had the makings of a rout into a battle Friday evening, Fairview’s Sam Martin took matters into his own hands.
The Knights junior wide receiver returned a third-quarter punt 74 yards, helping to set up his own 28-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Swartzwelter. The play reinvigorated Fairview, which eventually rolled to a 40-25 victory over the Wildcats in a cold rain/snow mix at North Area Athletic Complex.
The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for the Knights (4-2, 1-1 North Metro League), and was a big confidence boost after the team had allowed 50-plus points in each of its previous two games.
“It was fun. That’s the best way to describe it,” Martin said. “It was just a great night all-around. The team played well and we just came out and got back on track.”
Fairview sophomore quarterback Johnny Feauto threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns, including three to Martin in the first half as the Knights built a 27-10 lead. Arvada West (1-5, 0-2) scored a touchdown just before halftime and added a safety 17 seconds into the second half to cut the lead to eight points.
The Wildcats took the free kick and drove to the Fairview 32-yard line. On fourth down quarterback Allen Martin appeared to connect with Tristan Rios on a pass to the 4, but an illegal motion penalty negated the play. Arvada West chose to punt, setting up Sam Martin’s big return and subsequent touchdown pass.
“That was a huge momentum shift for us,” Martin said. “We needed the fire and we just needed that extra push.”
Martin finished with nine catches for 172 yards and the three scores. He also tossed the touchdown pass and had an interception on defense. Cole Scheifele caught five passes for 125 yards.
Feauto was 18-of-43 passing and was intercepted once. The weather got wetter as the night wore on, resulting in a number of dropped balls on both sides.
“They’ve got a lot of good talent. That No. 17 (Feauto), for coming in and being a backup quarterback and a sophomore, I’m impressed with how he’s throwing the ball,” Arvada West coach Greg Whisler said. “They bent but didn’t break. Coach (Tom) McCartney prepared his team well. They earned it.”
The game didn’t get off to the best start for Fairview. Arvada West used kickoff returns of 64 and 46 yards to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Allen Martin and a 24-yard field goal from Kaleb Whiting. Between those scores, Feauto connected with Sam Martin on a 45-yard scoring strike.
A blocked field goal turned the tide in the Knights’ favor, at least for a while. The tipped ball gave Fairview possession at its own 6-yard line, and Feauto needed only seven plays to drive 94 yards. Completions of 31 and 48 yards to Scheifele set up a 5-yard touchdown pass to Martin, and Billy Reeves returned an interception 57 yards for another score.
Feauto then hit Martin again, this time from 63 yards out to make it 27-10.
“He played really well tonight, despite the weather,” Martin said. “He was putting the ball where it needed to be and he was making plays with his feet as well.”
Feauto added a 6-yard touchdown pass to Owen Harris in the third quarter. Allen Martin passed for 270 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 67 yards and two more scores to pace the Wildcats. The quarterback was intercepted four times though — twice by Reeves.
Next up for Fairview is a home game against Legacy next Friday.
“It’s going to be huge to keep this momentum going and just keep pushing in league play,” Sam Martin said. “Just keep playing how we can.”
FAIRVIEW 40, ARVADA WEST 25
At North Area Athletic Complex
Fairview (4-2, 1-1) 14 13 13 0 — 40
Arvada West (1-5, 0-2) 10 7 2 6 — 25
AW — Allen Martin 2 run (Kaleb Whiting kick).
FV — Sam Martin 45 pass from Johnny Feauto (Patrick Rios kick).
AW — Whiting 24-yard field goal.
FV — Martin 5 pass from Feauto (Rios kick).
FV — Billy Reeves 57 interception return (kick failed).
FV — Martin 63 pass from Feauto (Rios kick).
AW — Martin 2 run (Whiting kick).
AW — Safety, Feauto tackle in end zone.
FV — Jonathan Swartzwelter 28 pass from Martin (kick failed).
FV — Owen Harris 6 pass from Feauto (Rios kick).
AW — Marcus Culhane 9 pass from Martin (kick blocked).
First downs 16 19
Rushes-yards 16-13 35-108
Passing yards 378 270
Comp-Att-Int 19-44-1 16-37-4
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 6-51 5-47
RUSHING — Fairview: Kevin Sharr 5-24, Johnny Feauto 4-(-20), Hoskins 3-11, Cole Scheifele 2-0, Team 2-(-2); Arvada West: Allen Martin 17-67, Jackson Mitchell 15-33, Ryan Gillespie 3-8.
PASSING (comp-att-int-yards) — Fairview: Feauto 18-43-1, 350 yards, Sam Martin 1-1-0, 28 yards; Arvada West: Martin 16-36-4, 270 yards, Zach Kuhlmann 0-1-0, 0 yards.
RECEIVING — Fairview: Sam Martin 9-172, Scheifele 5-125, Owen Harris 3-28, Jonathan Swartzwelter 1-28, Sharr 1-25; Arvada West: Marcus Culhane 8-95, Tristan Rios 3-76, Gillespie 3-40, Josh Faulkenberry 2-69.