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Fairfield dominates second half in Jackets' 50-26 loss to Mules

  • Chester's Drake Bollman (32) catches a 21-yard touchdown pass from Jacket quarterback Nick Meyer late in the second quarter at Fairfield Friday August 31. The TD brought the Jackets within two points, 22-20 to end the half.

    Chester's Drake Bollman (32) catches a 21-yard touchdown pass from Jacket quarterback Nick Meyer late in the second quarter at Fairfield Friday August 31. The TD brought the Jackets within two points, 22-20 to end the half.
    Misty Price Photo

  • Chester's Drake Bollman (32) takes the handoff from CHS quarterback Nick Meyer (2) early in the second quarter at Fairfield. Bollman ran the ball through the nice hold created by the YellowJacket offensive line for a 1-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14-14.

    Chester's Drake Bollman (32) takes the handoff from CHS quarterback Nick Meyer (2) early in the second quarter at Fairfield. Bollman ran the ball through the nice hold created by the YellowJacket offensive line for a 1-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14-14.
    Misty Price Photo

 
BY JIM BEERS
Contributing Writer
updated: 9/5/2018 9:40 AM

In a preseason interview, Chester Head Coach Billy Belton predicted the Yellowjackets' first two games of the season would be the toughest.

"In the opening two weeks of the 2018 season we have to face possibly the best two teams in the league, Eldorado and Fairfield," he said. "Both are well-coached and will be tough opponents for us."

After losing a double-overtime barnburner at home against Eldorado Aug. 26, Chester made the long trip to Fairfield Aug. 31 to face the Mules, arguably the favorite to win the Black Diamond Conference.

Belton's prediction held true. Both the Eagles and Mules were tough opponents, but the Yellowjackets took Eldorado to double overtime before losing 34-26. At Fairfield, Chester was only down by two, 22-20 at the half, but lost steam in the second half to fall, 50-26 on the road.

In the battle, Fairfield's Reese Lee drew first blood on the Yellowjackets on a 43 yard interception return to give the Mules a 6-0 lead. Wyatt Gilbert ran the ball for the extra point and Fairfield led, 8-0.

Later in the first quarter, Ethan Bert scored for the Yellowjackets on a 59 yard pass from Nick Meyer. Ethan Rayburn was successful on the two-point conversion run and Chester tied the game, 8-8.

Fairfield and Chester traded second quarter touchdowns. Fairfield scored first on another touchdown run by Reese Lee. Lee ran it in from 6-yards out. The two-point conversion failed.

Chester answered with a 1-yead touchdown run from Drake Bollman. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, but the Jackets tied the game, 14-14.

The trade-off didn't stop there, however, as Fairfield's Dylan Heifner scored from one yard out to retake the lead, 20-14. Wyatt Gilbert then added two points on a successful two-point conversion. The Mules then led, 22-14.

With a little more than a minute remaining in the first half Chester scored yet again on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Nick Meyer to Drake Bollman. Unfortunately the two-point conversion attempt failed and Fairfield took a 22-20 lead into the locker room at the half.

The third quarter was all Fairfield as the Mules scored on a 24-yard run from Reese Lee. Lee handled the extra point duties and ran in across the goal line for two more points. Fairfield led, 30-20. The Mules scored again in the third on their only touchdown pass of the game when Alec Pruitt threw to Cade Carter for 30-yard reception and touchdown. Chester held the Mules on the two-point conversion attempt. Fairfield led, 36-20 after three quarters of play.

The Jackets struck first in the final quarter on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Nick Meyer to Keith Kiner III. The two-point conversion failed, but Chester pulled within 10 points, 36-26.

Unfortunately Fairfield wasn't finished, and the Jacket defense was unable to hold the Mule's offense. Fairfield would score twice more the final buzzer. Wyatt Gilbert ran it in for a touchdown from one yard to increase the Mule's lead to 16 points, 42-26. Alec Pruitt then ran the ball for two more points as Fairfield led, 44-26. To close the game, Fairfield's Reese Lee intercepted a Chester pass and returned it 25 yards for one final Mule touchdown. The two-point conversion failed. As time ran out Fairfield own the game, 50-26.

For the night Chester ran 63 plays for 288 yards. The Mules had only 283. CHS recorded 257 passing yards to Fairfield's 26. Fairfield, on the other hand, accumulated 257 rushing yards. Chester had just 31. Both teams had 14 first downs. Regarding third down efficiency, Fairfield was 7-11 (64 percent) and Chester was 4-12 (33%).

The YellowJacket's Nick Meyer was 13/27 in passing with 260 yards and three touchdowns. Fairfield's Alec Pruitt was 2/4 in passing with one touchdown.

Chester was led in rushing by Ethan Rayburn who ran six times for 50 yards. Ethan Bert ran four times for five yards and Tristin Hobeck had one run for four yards.

Fairfield had three rushers that led the Mules. R. Lee ran 11 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns. W. Gilbert ran 16 times for 74 yards and one touchdown and D. Hiefner ran 14 times for 59 yards and one touchdown.

In the receiving statistic category Chester was led by Ethan Bert who caught four passes for 118 yards and one touchdown. Keith Kiner III caught five passes for 73 yards and one touchdown. Erik Cowell caught one pass for 42 yards and Drake Bollman caught three passes for 27 yards and one touchdown.

Cade carter caught Fairfield's only successful pass for 30 yards. His reception was also the Mule's only touchdown pass.

On defense, Chester was led by Ethan Bert who had eight tackles and one assist. Drake Bollman had seven tackles as did Ethen Eggemeyer and two assists. Fairfield was led by Dylan Hiefner who had four tackles and one assist. J. O'Neal added four tackles and one sack.

Chester had a total of none penalties for 84 yards while Fairfield had just four penalties for 26 yards.

With the loss Chester fell to 0-2 for the season and 0-2 in the Black Diamond Conference. Fairfield improved to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the BDC. Next up for the Yellowjackets will be a home game as Chester hosts Hamilton County Friday September 7. Kickoff is 7 p.m. kickoff.