• Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Fairview's Carlo Kemp runs the ball in for a touchdown during a game against Fossil Ridge on Friday at Recht Field in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Fairview's Quinn Sharp is tackled out of bounds after making a catch during a game against Fossil Ridge on Friday at Recht Field in Boulder. More photos: BoCoPreps.com.

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All season long, the Fairview Knights have been a better football team when their backs have been against the wall.

Friday night at Recht Field, it was more of the same, with a paper-thin lead heading into halftime against a balanced Fossil Ridge squad. Leading just 13-9 at the half, Fairview embarked on two sustained drives that resulted in points to stretch their lead in an eventual 30-16 win over the SaberCats.

The quick-strike version of the Fairview offense also showed up, but this particular contest seemed to hinge on the long drives deflating the opponent’s will.

“All week long in practice we talked about how we needed to finish, finish, finish,” said James Cortese, who starred on both offense and defense. “We needed to execute, needed to hold onto the ball and drive on them.

“We’ve been concentrating on doing our thing, coming together to get good reps, and finishing.”

Fairview’s backbreaking drives in the third quarter, one of 13 plays and a second of 10 plays, were capped by a 6-yard pass from Thomas Creese to TJ Kebede and a Teyve Schuettpelz-Rohl field goal. Add to that a 41-yard TD run by Cortese with just four seconds left in the frame, and Fairview could breathe entering the fourth.

After getting just six first downs in the first half, Fairview (7-1 overall, 5-1 Front Range League) marched for 12 first downs after halftime. Kebede, along with his fantastic catch, had 69 rushing yards after the break to help create some balance.

Creese finished with 293 yards and two touchdowns, the first a 60-yard play to David McWilliams on which the junior receiver did a lot of the work to reach paydirt. Creese used six different receivers, hitting Tommy Wakefield eight times for 95 yards.

Penalties were the Achilles’ heel for the Knights, as they were flagged for 12 infractions totaling 135 yards. They killed one potential score in the first half with a holding call deep in Fossil territory, and helped Fossil Ridge sustain a second-quarter drive when the SaberCats had a chance to gain the lead.

Aside from the penalties, the Knights defense held firm. Fossil Ridge QB Tanner Hoke had 246 yards and two touchdowns, but Cortese came up with a huge interception just before the first half that kept the lead for Fairview.

“We haven’t been playing defense like we’d like, and we needed to do that tonight,” Cortese said. “We executed as a team when it mattered.”

The Knights now turn their attention to next week’s game at Legacy, which will be a battle for second place in the FRL.

Adam Dunivan: dunivana@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/AdamDunivan24

Fairview 30, Fossil Ridge 16

At Recht Field

Fossil Ridge (4-4, 3-3)

6
3
0
7

16

Fairview (7-1, 5-1)

7
6
17
0

30

First quarter

Fairview — David McWilliams 60 pass from Thomas Creese (Tevye Schuettpelz-Rohl kick). Fossil Ridge — Alec Mullen 25 pass from Tanner Hoke (kick failed).

Second quarter

Fairview — Carlo Kemp 1 run (pass failed). Fossil Ridge — Evan Bergerson 44 field goal.

Third quarter

Fairview — TJ Kebede 6 pass from Creese (Schuettpelz-Rohl kick). Fairview — Schuettpelz-Rohl 21 field goal. Fairview — James Cortese 41 run (Schuettpelz-Rohl kick).

Fourth quarter

Fossil Ridge — Mullen 25 pass from Hoke (Bergerson kick).

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Fossil Ridge: Brandon Spraberry 11-31, Ethan Stanczyk 10-21, Cole Schilling 1-4, Tanner Hoke 3-(minus-10). Fairview: TJ Kebede 10-72, James Cortese 4-47, Carlo Kemp 4-9, Thomas Creese 5-4, Mariano Kemp 3-16, Max Gelband 1-3.

PASSING — Fossil Ridge: Hoke 20-42-1246. Fairview: Creese 19-38-0-293, Jake Willemsen 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING — Fossil Ridge: Schilling 7-76, Alec Mullen 6-106, Owen Arkin 4-43, Calvin Marley 1-19, Stanczyk 1-(minus-3), Kevin Castell 1-5. Fairview: Tommy Wakefield 8-95, David McWilliams 4-130, Quinn Sharp 4-47, Kemp 1-12, Kebede 1-6, Connor Twist 1-3.