BENICIA — Although a penalty brought it back, Friday night’s game at Drolette Stadium was an uphill fight for Fairfield High from the opening kickoff in a 42-0 defeat.
Benicia High’s Drae Randolph grabbed the kick and ran along the Falcons’ sideline for an 85-yard touchdown, but an illegal block in the back returned the ball to Benicia territory.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, it didn’t matter. Four plays later, the Panthers scored the first of their six touchdowns when Anthony Guidry found pay dirt on a sweep to the left side of the line to give Benicia a 7-0 advantage.
Fairfield’s best drive of the night came in the second quarter, when a 12-play stretch ended with three straight incomplete passes in the red zone.
Falcons coach Eric Barber expressed frustration after the game.
“We’re just undermanned,” he said. “These boys will come to practice Monday and want to get better.”
Despite the team’s 25-man roster, Barber said the players show a lot of heart.
“We are building character, character that will go beyond football,” he said. “We are finding the positive out of a negative situation.”
Benicia’s Ryan Bohnet mopped up, completing 12-of-16 passes for three touchdowns and 213 yards, all of which came in the first half. He also scored a rushing TD.
After Guidry’s tally, Benicia struck again with just more than six minutes to go in the first quarter. Jared Clemons scampered past the right side and was untouched as he crossed the goal line to give the Panthers a 14-0 lead.
Bohnet rolled to the right and had plenty of time to find James Hyde Jr. for Benicia’s third touchdown, which came with 1:51 remaining in the first. Hyde was Bohnet’s favorite target on the night, leading all receivers with five catches for 88 yards.
The Panthers moved the needle to 28-0 when Bohnet hit Clemons on a 63-yard screen pass midway through the second quarter.
For the Panthers’ final first-half tally, Joey Deseve caught a Bohnet pass from less than 1 yard out.
The lone score for either team in the second half came when Bohnet scored on a 14-yard keeper up the middle.
A bank of lights went out on the northeast side of the field with just under 3 minutes to go in the second quarter, but after a momentary stoppage in play, the officials agreed there was sufficient lighting for the game to continue. Power was restored to the bank during the second half, when coaches agreed to go to a running clock.
With the loss, Fairfield falls to 1-4 and the year and 0-1 in the Solano County Athletic Conference while Benicia climbs to 5-1 and 1-0 in the SCAC.
In the JV game. Fairfield’s Eric Posey caught 22- and 5-yard touchdown passes from Chris Sailing, but it wasn’t enough as the Falcons fell to Benicia, 33-12.
Fairfield was without three of its starters due to academic ineligibility, but coach Adam Butler said he was still proud of his players.
“We still came out and played hard,” Butler said.
With the loss, Fairfield falls to 2-3 on the year and 0-1 in the SCAC.