PARKER – Despite a spectacular regular season in 2020, the Fairview football team’s dominance did not transfer into the postseason.
Seeded sixth overall, the Knights fell behind early and hung around through much of their Class 5A state quarterfinals game against No. 3 Legend at EchoPark Automotive Stadium on Saturday. But though they made a valiant effort to keep pace, the higher-seeded Titans eventually pulled away for a 56-35 victory.
It wasn’t the ending the Knights had hoped for. But at the same time, they also were glad they were able to finish out the 2020 season on a football field together.
“Obviously when people think of 2020, the first thing people think of is COVID,” head coach Tom McCartney said. “Everything was weird through March, April, May and so on. But the takeaway for us is that we’re thankful we get to be together. It was an outlet for us to be together because we’re a family. So when they said we’d have a chance to play, we said, ‘Great. Just tell us what the rules are.’
“Our parents were amazing and they were super supportive in helping us do the things we needed to do so we could be together. This team was very talented and we are grateful we were able to play seven games because a lot of people can’t say that.”
Despite allowing just 14.2 points per game and leading the state with 13 interceptions during the regular season, the Knights (6-1) defense couldn’t generate any turnovers and forced the Legend (7-0) offense to punt just once.
The Knights went for it on 4th-and-1 three times in the first half and didn’t convert on any of the three attempts. Still, they trailed just 28-21 at halftime and were still within two scores at the start of the fourth quarter. But the Titans’ seventh touchdown of the game gave them a 21-point lead with 9:24 left in the fourth quarter and FHS didn’t get any closer than 14 points after that.
“We made a run at it and we tip our hats to Legend,” McCartney said. “They were the better team tonight so we give them all the credit.”
Even in the loss, senior quarterback Liam O’Brien completed 43 of 62 pass attempts for over 450 passing yards and five touchdowns. Dillan Tarves, Liam Huber, Josh Rouland, Grant Page and Jay Barry Jr. each caught a touchdown pass in the game. Page led the Knights with 11 receptions for 155 yards.
Going undefeated on their way to the postseason, the Knights won their third straight regular-season conference championship in 2020.
Legend will play Valor Christian in the semifinals next week. It will be Legend’s first-ever state semifinals appearance.