PHS rallies past Fayetteville for opening-week win
Bulldogs win season opener, 31-14
Joe Holmes, Enquirer Correspondant
DANVILLE – With just four minutes gone in the opening quarter of play Friday night, Priceville Head Coach Marty Chambers found himself looking up at a 14-0 lead for the visiting Fayetteville Wolves and wondering how his Bulldogs would respond.
Three-and-a-half quarters later, Priceville was celebrating a 31-14 come-from-behind win and Chambers had found his answer.
"That was a great team victory," the third-year coach said. "They could have folded right there in the first quarter and given up. Instead they kept believing that we could fight our way back."
The Bulldogs started the comeback when quarterback Zac Fairbanks found Jonathan Galbreath from 34 yards out mid-way through the first.
Brad Helton added the PAT to draw the Dogs within seven.
It wouldn't take long for Priceville to again find themselves in the red zone.
Fayetteville put the ball on the ground at their own 18-yard-line and the Bulldogs recovered to set up a Fairbanks touchdown on the quarterback sneak. Helton's PAT knotted things at 14-14 just 28 seconds into the second quarter.
The Dog Pound "D" continued its relentless pressure on the Wolves, forcing yet another fumble at the Fayetteville 45-yard-line. Fairbanks led the 'Dogs to the four-yard-line before a fumbled snap ended the Priceville drive just short of the endzone.
Operating from their two-yard-line, Fayetteville tried to push the ball out to gain some breathing room but instead found their offense sacked behind the goal line for a PHS safety and a 16-14 Bulldog lead.
The second half also would belong to the 'Dogs as Helton forced a fumble on Fayetteville's first drive of the second half. Hunter Teague picked up a key first down on third-and-one, setting up a 39-yard jaunt for Justin Lawson, who rushed 13 times for 119 yards, at the 4:27 mark of the third quarter. Teague made it 24-14 with his two-point conversion.
As the fourth-quarter wore on, Priceville's conditioning proved to the difference in the ballgame. Fayetteville failed to move the ball against the stifling Bulldog defense.
In fact, the defense would provide the final score of the night when Jeremy Holloway scooped up a loose ball at mid-field and scooted 51-yards for the TD. Helton was perfect again on the PAT and capped the scoring at 31-14.
Chambers said his game plan for the evening was pretty simple.
"We stressed conditioning and strength training," he said. "I think it became pretty obvious that we were stronger and in better shape."
Priceville out-gained Fayetteville 417-226 on the night.
The Bulldogs travel to Mt. Hope this Friday night, an away date with the Yellow Jackets. The teams split two games last year with each other.