Goldbugs lose to rival Fairview 26-19
September 12, 2021
A few inches – that’s what it came down to. Just a few inches more could have made all the difference. As the seconds ticked down on the clock, the Alva Goldbugs were less than a foot from the goal line. Crossing would have meant a chance to tie the Fairview Yellowjackets who were leading by seven points.
But close only counts in horseshoes. Four times Alva quarterback Kaden Slater threw himself at the defensive line, and four times he was stopped short of the goal. There was no time for a handoff, passing or some fancy play call. Fairview’s line held firm, denying the Goldbugs that one last chance. The Yellowjackets went home with the 26-19 victory, while the Alva team has a week off to prepare for district play.
It was a fine night for football at Ranger Field in Alva, unlike last Friday’s rain and lightning plagued fiasco. Up until Friday, the Goldbugs had played less than one and a quarter games under the new leadership of Coach Dave Foster.
Rival Fairview came into the fray with a 2-0 record having shutout Chisholm the previous week 43-0. Although Yellowjackets quarterback Jax Bernard is a freshman, he’s the son of Fairview’s coach Robert Bernard and is proving very capable.
Alva began Friday night’s contest in possession of the ball on the 25 yard line. Slater’s handoff to Drake Wharton netted a six yard gain, but on the next play Slater was sacked for a loss of three. After an incomplete pass, Slater had to punt, but the ball hit another player and ended up at the Alva 35.
Bernard handed off to Blake Perez who gained only a yard before being piled on. A pass to Isaiah Burris gained seven yards, and another pass to Perez made the first down. From the Alva 21, Bernard faked and then ran with the ball to be brought down quickly by Sylus Graves. Fairview’s drive stalled at the 20 with an incomplete pass, but a handoff to Perez and a wide open path put the Yellowjackets a foot from the goal. Bernard handed the ball to Perez who crossed the line for the touchdown. Kaden Pettus’s kick failed, and Fairview led 6-0.
Following the kickoff, Alva lost a yard in a handoff to Wharton. On the next play, Slater passed to Wharton who took off, making it to the Fairview 46. The Goldbugs lost eight yards on the next two plays, putting them back in Alva territory. On the third down with 18 yards to go, Slater threw the ball to Wharton who tossed it to Daylon Malone for a gain of 16. Slater connected with Aiden Faison on another pass that put Alva on the Fairview 23.
Slater kept the ball and ran for four. A handoff to Wharton gained 11 yards and the first down. The Goldbugs were now eight yards from the goal. Slater handed off to Wharton who made only a yard. A slant pass to Phillip Randall resulted in a seven yard loss. From the 14, Slater threw an incomplete pass, but the Goldbugs drew a holding penalty. This set them back to the 24 with the third down to be played again. Slater tried twice to pass to Randall, but didn’t connect.
Taking over on their 24, the Yellowjackets moved to the 40 on a Bernard pass to Perez. Graves made sure Perez didn’t go anywhere on the next play. Then Bernard’s pass overshot the receiver. A false start moved Fairview back to the 35, and an incomplete pass caused Bernard to punt.
At the Alva 30, Slater passed to the far side where Weston Tucker caught it for a gain of seven. Two handoffs to Wharton gave Alva the first down to the 41 as the quarter ended. Fairview led 6-0.
Disaster struck the Goldbugs as they began the second period. As Slater threw the ball, he was hit from behind and sacked. The throw was knocked away, and Fairview fell on the loose football.
Taking possession on the Alva 35, Bernard handed off to Perez who broke a tackle and made it to the 27. Bernard passed the ball up the middle, but Randall picked it off to regain possession for Alva.
From the Goldbug 13 yard line, Slater passed to Kelton O’Neil for a three-yard gain. The next two pass attempts were incomplete, and Slater had to punt. The ball was tipped by a Fairview player, giving the Yellowjackets good position on the Alva 40.
In three plays, Fairview was at the 22. A Bernard pass to Perez gained seven. Then Alva was penalized for moving too soon, giving the Yellowjackets the first down and a position at the Alva ten. Perez gained two yards before being brought down by Lantz Mathers. A pass to Burris put Fairview within two yards of the goal. Bernard gave the ball to Perez, and he made his second touchdown of the night. The point-after kick failed, and Fairview was up 12-0.
The Goldbugs stalled out on the drive from their 30-yard line and had to punt. Slater’s line drive punt was being run back by Burris when flags were thrown. Fairview was called for holding and moved back to their 38. The Yellowjackets made it to their 43 before having to punt.
Starting at the Alva 32, Slater’s pass was incomplete. On the next play, Slater was sacked for a loss of 12. Then Fairview drew a penalty that put Alva on the 42. After an incomplete pass, Alva was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. Set back to their 21 with 31 yards to go, the Goldbugs went nowhere with two incomplete passes. Slater’s punt was snagged by Brenner Fortune who ran all the way to the goal line. But there was no Fairview celebration as each team drew penalties that offset each other. Slater had to punt again. This time when Fortune grabbed the ball, he was tackled by Mathers at the Fairview 44.
On the first play as Bernard dropped back to pass, he was sacked by a bunch of Goldbugs for a loss. It didn’t matter as Bernard passed to Perez who broke free and was within five yards of the goal when Wharton halted him. Bernard kept the ball to gain one yard, and then handed off to Perez who made one more before Malone stopped him. On the next hand off, Perez got to the one yard line before being downed by Mathers. Bernard elected to keep the ball and run on the fourth down, making the touchdown. The kick missed the uprights, and Fairview led 18-0.
Setting up at the Alva 38, Slater’s pass was incomplete. On the next play, a high snap caused a delay and Slater was sacked for a loss of seven. With time running out, Slater threw the ball to Tucker who threw to O’Neil for a gain of nine. Slater then passed to O’Neil who threw to Tucker. Time ran out, and Fairview led 18-0 going into halftime.
Opening the third quarter, a determined Alva defense kept Fairview held Fairview to just six yards. The Yellowjackets had to punt.
Alva took over at the Fairview 39, gaining five yards on a pass by Slater to Tucker. Fairview put on the pressure with Sawyer Hutchison stripping the ball away from Slater. Goldbug Chris Carpenter fell on it to keep possession, but Alva lost ground back to their 41. Slater’s pass to Tucker regained eight yards, but on a fourth down with 22 yards to go, Slater had to punt.
A roll of the ball put it at the Fairview one-yard mark. Bernard threw to Burris who found room to run for a gain of 34. Bernard passed to Fortune who made another first down. Lined up at the 49, Fairview was whistled for a false start and moved back to their 44.
A handoff to Perez gained four. Bernard passed to Reed Martens who broke loose to run all the way. The touchdown didn’t count as Fairview drew a flag that moved them back to the 45 for a do-over. Bernard was pressured and threw on the run but was sacked. Fairview drew a holding call while Alva was found guilty of a horse collar. With offsetting penalties, the play was done again.
Bernard passed to Burris for a gain of ten. Two incomplete passes followed, and the drive stalled out at the Alva 45.
Alva’s drive did not start well as Slater was sacked by Pettus for a loss of ten. After two incomplete passes, one of them tipped, the Goldbugs set up to punt. Alva didn’t have enough players on the field and drew a delay of game penalty. Slater had to move back five and kick from the 30.
Starting from the Fairview 48, Bernard handed off to Perez who gained five. As Bernard was handing off to Perez the second time, the ball came out but Fairview recovered. On the third try, Perez was dropped for a loss of three, and Bernard had to punt.
Starting at the Alva 39, Slater handed the ball to Wharton who found an opening up the middle and raced 61 yards untouched to the goal. The two-point attempt failed, but Alva was on the scoreboard with Fairview leading 18-6.
Fairview’s Fortune was injured on the kickoff return and helped off the field. From their 26, the Yellowjackets gained three on a Perez run. Two incomplete passes left them with no choice but to punt.
At center field, Slater took a high snap and handed off to Wharton who gained two. Two passes were incomplete. On the fourth down with eight yards to go, Slater passed to Kelton O’Neil who found room to run the 48 yards to the goal. Mathers kick was good, and the margin was narrowed with Fairview leading 18-13. Fairview had time for one play before the quarter ended.
Beginning the final quarter, Bernard passed to Perez who was wide open and ran to the Alva 15. Perez ran for four-yards on the next play. On the third handoff from Bernard to Perez, Mathers and Lewis stopped the play. Fairview drew a flag which moved them back to the 18 and a replay of the down. A Yellowjackets false start resulted in another loss of yards. Now at the Alva 23 with 23 yards to go, Bernard threw two incomplete passes. A delay of game penalty moved Fairview further back. Under pressure, Bernard ran and was brought down by Mathers at the Alva 19.
Slater took over for Alva, but his pass was incomplete. Alva was then penalized for a false start. From the Alva 14, Slater passed to Glass who ran to the 42 before being stopped. Slater’s handoff to Wharton gained a yard. After dropping the ball, Slater recovered to pass but it was incomplete. Slater tried another pass, but Fairview was flagged for pass interference giving the Goldbugs the first down.
Now at the Fairview 42, Slater had to throw on the run for an incomplete. A handoff to Wharton gained four yards. After another incomplete pass, Slater threw the ball to Randall to make the first down.
From the 29, Slater gave the ball to Wharton who gained three yards. Slater then passed to Wharton who ran for the touchdown. It was called back for penalties. Fairview had an illegal block penalty, and Alva drew a penalty from the sideline. Alva was moved back to the 43. Slater unleashed another pass to Randall who caught it around the 35 and ran, breaking a tackle, to score the touchdown. Alva tried for two points but failed when Slater’s pass was in and out of the receiver’s hands. Alva now had the lead at 19-18.
In two plays, the Yellowjackets moved from their 25 to the Alva 28. Fairview managed one more yard. Two passes were incomplete. On the fourth down, Bernard aimed for Burris at the one-yard line, but the ball was in and out of his hands.
Alva took over on their 29. After two plays with no gain, Slater ran with the ball for 16 yards and the first down. At the 45, Slater gave the ball to Wharton for a gain of four. As Slater handed off to Wharton again, the ball came out and Fairview gained possession.
From the Alva 49, a pass from Bernard to Burris moved Fairview to the 28. Another pass to Martens put Fairview at the 15. Bernard then threw to Brant Strader for seven yards. A run by Perez gained five more, and Fairview was two yards from pay-dirt. Bernard handed off to Perez who scored the TD. Fairview went for the two-point conversion. The pass from Bernard to Perez was good. Fairview regained the lead at 26-19.
Alva took over at their 35 with just over a minute on the clock. After two incompletes, Slater connected on a pass to Glass and the first down. At the 25, Slater threw to O’Neil on the left sideline, and he made it within a yard of the goal.
Slater made four successive attempts to break through the Fairview line for a chance to tie the game, but the Yellowjackets were determined to thwart him. Fairview won 26-19.
The Alva Goldbugs are now 1-2 for the season while Fairview has a 3-0 record. Having started early, Alva has a bye week. Their next scheduled game is at Newkirk on Friday, Sept. 24, with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
In other Class 2A-1 games, Kingfisher defeated Chisholm 48-8, Jones topped Luther 50-12, OCS blanked Crossings Christian 9-0, Perry edged Tonkawa 13-12, Stigler shutout Blackwell 41-0, and Woodland beat Newkirk 40-0.
In area games, Pioneer-Pleasant Vale blanked Cherokee 46-0, and Timberlake defeated Waukomis 54-6.