FAIRFIELD — In a game that saw three touchdowns and four kickoffs in the first 5 minutes, the significance of the night wasn’t lost on the Fairfield High football team.
Despite falling 59-18 to visiting American Canyon in Solano County Athletic Conference action on Homecoming Night at Schaefer Stadium, the Falcons (1-6, 0-3 SCAC) made progress in a season that has been measured by simply not giving up.
First off, Fairfield ended its shutout streak at two games.
The Falcons, who hadn’t scored since a Sept. 28 shootout with Armijo, put that streak to bed with a 53-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Michael Arredondo to Mark Tupai with 7 minutes, 13 seconds to play in the first quarter. That made it 14-6 and was the closest the Falcons came all night.
American Canyon opened the game with an 84-yard kickoff return for a 7-0 lead just 36 seconds in.
After Fairfield went three-and-out, the Wolves added an 82-yard TD run on their first play from scrimmage for a 14-0 lead.
In fact, the Falcons had more points than tackles until the sixth play of American Canyon’s second possession. On the seventh play of that drive, the Wolves punched it in from 7 yards out for a 21-6 lead with 3:31 left in the first.
“Rough start, they’re trying and they’re learning and everybody’s doing the best they can,” said Fairfield coach Eric Barber, who was proud of the effort his players put forth, especially in the second half.
“Very inspired. I just told them, ‘We didn’t quit, they didn’t finish us, they didn’t knock us down,’ ” Barber said. “Their starters played the second half, it wasn’t like they replaced them.”
The Wolves added four more touchdowns in the second quarter, capping that run off with an 85-yard punt return by Chris Seisay to make it 49-6 with 47 seconds remaining in the half.
A Fairfield fumble on the first play of the ensuing drive resulted in an American Canyon first down with 10 seconds left before the break.
Instead of taking a knee, the Wolves attempted – and made – a 45-yard field goal to up the advantage to 52-6 at halftime.
Facing a running clock and getting no breaks from the Wolves, who left their starters in the whole second half, the Falcons got into a groove on their first possession of the third quarter.
Fairfield marched 70 yards on 11 plays, capping it with a 1-yard dive by Arredondo for a touchdown to make it 52-12.
American Canyon opened the fourth quarter with a 50-yard TD run by Jermaine Boddie for a 59-12 lead.
The Falcons again answered with a 75-yard drive, capping it with a touchdown on the final play of the game on a 5-yard lob from Arredondo to LaTrell Pittman.
Barber said his passing game was the best it’s been all year, with Arredondo going 10 for 21 for 156 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw a pair of picks.
“The offensive line had a pretty good day, which helped Michael make some of his best throws of the year,” Barber said. “We were very happy with that and Mark was banged up, trying to play hurt, made some nice catches. We were able to get some nice passes.”
Tupai hauled in five passes for 106 yards and Tyler Ross added three catches for 32 yards.
Eric Clark led the rushing game with 58 yards on 12 carries.
“They couldn’t put us away, (our) guys didn’t quit and didn’t back down or nothing like that,” Barber said.
In junior varsity action, American Canyon defeated Fairfield 26-6. The Falcons’ lone score came on a 30-yard pass from Eric Posey to Damon Gustafson to close the first half.
Coach Adam Butler also singled out Isaiah Connor for an, “Outstanding defensive game.”
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.