FAIRFIELD — This time the Fairfield High football didn’t run out of gas.
Instead it ran on heart all the way to an overtime victory.
Michael Arredondo hit Demetrus Spears with an 8-yard touchdown pass on the Falcons’ second play of the extra period to lift the red, white and black to a thrilling 20-14 victory in their home opener at Schaefer Stadium, Friday.
“It’s tremendous, absolutely tremendous,” Fairfield coach David Fishleigh said of the victory.
It was a team effort as the Falcons’ defense stopped Pioneer quarterback Anthony Bosser just short of the goal line on fourth-and-1 during the Patriots’ overtime possession.
After Eric Posey gained 2 yards on Fairfield’s first play, Arredondo rolled left, appeared ready to run and then threw to Spears just past the goal line along the sideline.
“I was just running out, I thought I was going to run,” said Arredondo, who completed 8 of 13 passes for 166 yards. “I saw my man get open in the corner of the end zone. I lobbed it over the defensive back.”
Spears broke off his route to help out his quarterback.
“It was supposed to be a post,” he said “I saw my quarterback run. I made a break back (across the field) for him. He happened to throw it, I happened to catch it.”
It was a happy ending to a frustrating game for the Falcons, who had five turnovers, including four fumbles, and killed several promising drives with silly penalties.
The Falcons (1-1) got on the board first when Arreondo hit Posey in stride for a 55-yard touchdown on the first play of their second possession. Hector Avila kicked the conversion.
Pioneer tied it at 7-7 with a seven-play, 80-yard drive capped by Zach Lackey’s sweep to the right.
The Patriots then took a 14-7 lead with 2 minutes, 24 seconds to go in the first half with a 12-play, 83-yard march with Brandon Medina going the final 19 yards.
The Pioneer possessions were reminiscent of Fairfield’s 41-18 loss in Woodland last year in which it dazzled early and faded late.
Fairfield evened the score on the opening possession of the second half. Dammoni Quinney took a handoff from Posey on a reverse and raced 38 yards down the right sideline.
Khalid Koss’ extra point tied it up.
The Falcons botched several good scoring chances the remainder of regulation, but they also kept the Pioneers (0-2) out of the end zone, something they couldn’t do a year ago.
“It’s hard to compare last year to this year because I wasn’t there (in 2012),” Fishleigh said. “The kids have a ton of heart. They didn’t give up tonight. I’m so proud of them. They played a tremendous game.”
The Falcons stay in town next week when they travel to Rodriguez, where Fishleigh coached from 2006 to 2008, on Friday.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.