BOULDER — When Carlo Kemp is celebrating in the end zone, it usually means he sacked an opposing quarterback or flattened a running back there.
The Fairview junior is attracting Division-I interest because of his prowess as a defensive end, but the Knights are giving him an opportunity to shine on the other side of the ball as well this fall.
Kemp couldn’t have chosen a more poignant stage for his breakout performance as a fullback than Saturday’s annual Fairview-Boulder rivalry game, where he smashed through for three touchdowns in the Knights’ 41-10 non-league win at Recht Field.
“Oh my gosh, I’m loving it,” the 6-foot-3, 250-pounder said. “When I get it, I just want to go.”
Kemp rushed for 88 yards on 12 carries and already mastered the finer arts of a being a running back, as he was quick to thank his offensive line for forging enormous holes. But on his first carry, a 31-yarder down to the Boulder 17, it was all Kemp. He dragged what appeared to be more than half the Boulder defense down the field after his progress was initially stopped two yards in.
“I don’t even know what was going through my head, because that was the first long carry I’ve ever had,” said Kemp, who had two short TDs in Fairview’s opening win at Grand Junction. “I just remember all the running back coaches, coach (Brian) Clark saying ‘Keep going, keep going.’ That’s what I did and I ended up breaking that.”
Fairview (2-0), naturally, is predicated off its passing game, so rushing for an even 200 yards overall on 33 attempts provided a boost. But the Knights were solid in the passing game as well. Quarterback Johnny Feauto spread the ball to six different targets, including a first-quarter touchdown pass to Connor May.
While Feauto didn’t accumulate the 414 yards he did in the opener, he was a solid 18 for 28 for 258 yards and rebounded from a deflected interception on the opening play. The margin of victory somewhat obscured that the Knights had four turnovers, with Feauto also losing two fumbles and Kemp one.
“The offense, we did pretty well,” Feauto said. “We got some bad first drives out of the way, but we have to hold on to the ball. We always teach ball security and we can’t turn it over in the upcoming weeks or they’ll make us pay for it.
“Our defense played well so it didn’t hurt us too much, but we have to hold on to the ball. Me especially.”
Boulder (0-2) converted the early interception by Anes Balic into a field goal by Ismael Bouchta and led 3-0, but Fairview reeled off the next 34 points and led 34-10 at the break.
Knights coach Tom McCartney wasn’t overly concerned about the turnovers and Fairview’s dozen penalties.
“None of that stuff bothers me right now,” McCartney said. “All I care about is the victory and whatever we had to do to fight hard to get that victory. The other stuff, we’ll look at film and do what we always do, but we’re just super happy.”
Tim Ryan also stood out for the Knights with five catches for 95 yards while also providing a boost in the return game (he also had a 58-yard TD catch nullified by a holding penalty). McCartney said the run-pass balance wasn’t necessarily a conscious effort but more predicated on the ebb and flow.
You can label Kemp a fan, though.
“It makes us more versatile,” Kemp said. “We have a great air attack with Johnny Football and our wide receivers, and when we get inside the 20, we can just pound it down their throats, run some clock and get it in the end zone. It’s demoralizing.”
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Fairview 41, Boulder 10
At Recht Field
Fairview (2-0) 6 28 7 0 — 41
Boulder (0-2) 3 7 0 0 — 10
Boulder — Ismael Bouchta 22 FG. Fairview — Connor May 15 pass from Johnny Feauto (kick failed).
Fairview — Carlo Kemp 1 run (Raul Magno kick). Fairview — Kemp 1 run (Magno kick). Fairview — Feauto 4 run (Magno kick). Fairview — Steven Maisnik recovered blocked punt in end zone (Magno kick). Boulder — T.J. Jones 1 run (Bouchta kick).
Fairiview — Kemp 4 run (Magno kick).
RUSHING — Fairview: Kemp 12-88, Feauto 10-50, Meyer 8-58, Ryan 1-5, Creese 2-(minus 1). Boulder: Jones 23-90, Relkin 2-(minus 6), Chandler 9-(minus 13).
PASSING — Fairview: Feauto 18-28-1-258, Creese 3-3-0-13. Boulder: Chandler 5-13-0-88.
RECEIVING — Fairview: Ryan 5-95, Meyer 6-57, May 3-48, D’Epagnier 3-25, Wakefield 2-25, McWilliams 2-21. Boulder: Heimbach 2-78, Taft 2-10, Jones 1-0.