2016 Fairfield Trojan Football Created by Matt Schenck, Special Thanks to Justin COpeland for the HighLight Videos, Pam Baumann for the Pictures and the Fairfield Ledger for the Articles. #OneFairfield

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Fairfield 25 Williamsburg 22

WILLIAMSBURG — Cameron Baumann and the Fairfield Trojan football team had heard enough about their first-round matchup with Williamsburg, and they made a statement Friday night, defeating the Raiders 25-22 behind four first-ever varsity touchdowns.

“Pretty much everybody came up to us and said things like ‘it [won’t be easy if] you have to play Williamsburg in the first game’ and it irritated us,” said quarterback Cameron Baumann, who threw three touchdown passes on 6-12 passing. “It [won’t be easy since] they had to play Fairfield and we came out ready to play because people were writing us off.”

The senior quarterback had his own personal vendetta to settle with Williamsburg, and he remembered what happened the last time the two teams met.

“It was my first varsity game that I came into and I started every one since,” he said. “That was a very bad game. It feels good to come back and get them in this one.”

With 7:03 left in the first quarter, Williamsburg drew first blood on a four-yard touchdown pass from Isaiah Powell to Justin Donohoe. Jacob Schropp converted the kick to make it 7-0 Raiders. The Trojans put together a strong drive on the ensuing possession, but were stopped on fourth down outside the end zone. When things were looking the most down, the Trojans got some luck and a window of opportunity to change their fortunes.

Powell couldn’t corral a poor snap from the Raiders’ center and the ball ricocheted into the end zone, where the Trojans’ Simon Spalla fell on it, giving Fairfield a much needed touchdown and momentum boost that carried over for the rest of the game. Eric Swan’s extra point was good, knotting the game at 7-7 and shifting the Trojans’ attitudes a bit.

“I honestly thought it didn’t count,” said Spalla. “I saw the ball on the ground, had no idea what I was going to do and went and grabbed it. I had no idea I was in the end zone and for some reason, thought they were still going to have the ball. I get up and my teammates are saying, ‘Oh, you got a touchdown!’ and I thought they were just messing with me.

“I’m not going to lie; it’s nice to get a touchdown as a lineman.”

Fairfield head coach Mike Schenck was happy to see his senior lineman get into the end zone because it set the tone for what could be a very successful season for his Trojans.

“That was a huge momentum changer in the game,” said Schenck. “I think our kids were down a little bit after Williamsburg scored. Then, we get stopped at the end zone and we’re down because we didn’t score. It really breathed life back into our kids.

“It was a humid night, everybody’s sweating and we didn’t put the ball on the ground; having no turnovers and only two penalties in the first game is pretty important.”

The Raiders made another mistake on the team’s next drive. On fourth down, in punt formation, the low snap was fielded by Josh Holub, but his knee touched the ground and ruled him down immediately, giving Fairfield good field position. The Trojans capitalized with a two-yard touchdown pass from Baumann to Denver Schultz to make it 13-0. Swan’s extra point was blocked by the Raiders.

“Cam had an outstanding read on that play,” said Schenck. “Both defenders jumped Waugh and left Denver open and he saw it. It was a really good catch on the play.”

Baumann’s account differed a bit than what his head coach saw.

“They came after me and I had to get rid of the ball quickly,” he said. “I saw Denver at the last second, put it up for him and thank God he came down with it.”

“I ran to the back of the end zone and made a pretty sloppy catch, took a big hit afterward,” said Schultz. “The guy lined up on me and he must have thought it was a run, so I chilled out in the corner and waited for the ball. It feels pretty good to get one.”

With 8:48 left in the half, the Raiders struck back on an eight-yard touchdown run by Jason Wardenburg. The extra point was good and Williamsburg took a 14-13 lead.

Baumann hit Cade Lisk for a 17-yard touchdown with 2:08 left in the half to give Fairfield back the lead. The Trojans could not convert the two-point play and the score was 19-13 Fairfield, which would stand up until halftime.

“We expect some big things out of Cade this year on both sides of the ball,” said Schenck. “It was an outstanding catch by him. I thought the kids played real hard and we called on a lot of them; we’ll continue to do so throughout the season.”

Baumann stepped up for a big defensive play as the third quarter wound down. The tall senior safety flashed in front of the Raiders for an interception, giving the Trojans their second turnover of the night.

“I was tailing him as he came out of the formation, just waiting for that throw,” he said. “Once he made it, I snuck in front of him and it panned out nicely for us.”

Waugh made his biggest play of the night on the ensuing drive, catching a pass from Baumann and rumbling the rest of the way for a 45-yard score, carrying multiple Raider defenders with him to the end zone. The touchdown made it 25-14 with just under four minutes left in the ballgame.

“The blood was rushing for me and it was really quick,” said the sophomore tight end. “I couldn’t really process things because it happened so fast. It was exciting to face a good opposing team and being able to beat them was awesome. It was nice to face someone we could really go after and hit, that’s for sure.”

Schenck added, “Waugh’s touchdown was really big at the time to put us up two scores; looking at the end of that run, I think he carried two kids into the end zone with him.”

Williamsburg would score with 2:11 left on a seven-yard touchdown by reserve quarterback Gage Blythe. Wardenburg ran in the two-point conversion to narrow the Trojans’ lead to 25-22. However, the Trojans would recover the onside kick and run out the rest of the clock to send Fairfield home with their first victory of the season.

The Trojans will host Knoxville in the team’s week two matchup, which will also be Fairfield’s first home game of 2016.

Fairfield 45 Knoxville 14

Fairfield’s ground attack was on point Friday night, pounding out 347 rushing yards and six touchdowns to wear down Knoxville’s defense and lead the Trojans to a big 45-14 win over the Panthers in week two.

Cameron Baumann led the way for the Trojans, as the senior quarterback ran for four touchdowns and 153 yards on 17 rushing attempts. Brandon Smithburg added 79 yards and a touchdown of his own.

“Cam read the option well and ran hard along with Smithburg,” said Fairfield head coach Mike Schenck. “That’s the athletic ability he brings to the game. He’s confident, runs the ball well and makes good decisions for us.”

Noah Stone added the first varsity touchdown of his career, rushing for 70 yards on 10 attempts.

“It feels great to have all my teammates on the sidelines supporting me and chanting my name,” said Stone. “It got me going, got me ready to go. Coach told me to follow [Aaron Haines and Steeler Higdon] and that they would take me to the end zone. I saw the big gap and hit it hard just like I do in practice.”

“That was really special for him and for the rest of our kids,” said Schenck. “Noah’s usually the top back on the scout team and he takes a lot of punishment, and the kids really respect that out of him. Everybody gets behind him when he’s running the ball and to see him get that was really neat.”

Tristin Waugh added the only receiving touchdown for the Trojans on a 39-yard catch and run from Baumann, who threw the pass as he leapt in the air to avoid pressure from the Panthers.

Defensively, Michael Fritz led the Trojans with 6.5 tackles and a sack of Knoxville quarterback Jacob Zuck. Trenton Hanen also had 6.5 tackles for the Trojans and Simon Spalla added six tackles and a pair of sacks, totaling four on the game for Fairifeld. The Trojans held Zuck to 10-18 in the air game and only 82 yards rushing in the ballgame.

“Defensively, up front I think we played as good a game as I’ve seen in several years,” said Schenck. “We stayed low in the line of scrimmage and gave up one big play, but other than that, we played really well.”

Cade Lisk deflected a Zuck pass that would have given Knoxville a first down in the third quarter, avenging an earlier touchdown that Zuck threw to Trent Davis.

“Coach Miklo and coach Dunlap emphasize that we don’t put our heads down and choose to bounce back after a rough play, and I was able to do that,” said Lisk. “We got overlooked a bit in the first week and maybe a little this week, but we feel good about being 2-0 and going into the conference schedule; it’s exciting.”

Baumann echoed Lisk’s sentiments, as the Trojans will open the Southeast Conference schedule with a home game against West Burlington / Notre Dame on Friday night.

“We’re going to have to keep punching the ball down people’s throats,” said Baumann. “This is a new team. We can’t overlook them or anyone else on our schedule. We’re going to work on our conditioning, prepare for West Burlington / Notre Dame and come in next week on a roll.

“We were very confident tonight; we don’t know how everybody else felt coming in, but a 45-14 win over these guys feels great.”

It was a nice way for Fairfield to make a statement, returning the favor after Knoxville beat Fairfield 43-26 last season.

“It feels great to come out here and beat another good team,” said Fritz. “It all comes down to how we practice and the time we’ve put in. It feels good to come back and win against these guys after we lost like we did last year, especially being down several lineman. But, these guys are so diverse. They can hop along and fill positions. It’s not so much that they know the spot, but they put in the effort to make plays.

“I don’t think anyone should overlook us this season; you have to respect everyone and respect the game you play.”

Fairfield 13 West Burlington-Notre Dame 20

Friday was a tale of contrasting styles when Fairfield locked horns with visiting West Burlington-Notre Dame.

The Trojans continued their impressive rushing attack from the prior weeks, while the Falcons lived up to their name, preferring an aerial assault. Though the two teams were nearly evenly matched in total offense and first downs, the Falcons finished on top in the only stat that matters as they defeated the Trojans by a score of 20-13.

West Burlington-Notre Dame’s air attack accounted for 242 of its 291 yards, or 83 percent. Not surprisingly, all three of its touchdowns were scored via the pass, beginning with a 9-yard toss from Drake Day to Tanner Snodgrass to cap a 67-yard drive late in the first quarter.

The Falcons quickly doubled their lead on their first drive of the second quarter when receiver Rel Greer caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from Day to make the score 14-0.

Trojans strike back

Just before halftime, the Trojans struck back. They marched 79 yards down the field and punched it into the endzone with a 2-yard run by quarterback Cameron Baumann. Eric Swan nailed the extra point to pull the Trojans within seven.

Late in the third quarter, Baumann returned to the endzone on an 11-yard run. The 62-yard drive was highlighted by a clutch 23-yard reception from Hunter Hoskins on fourth-and-12. The extra point was no good, so the score stood at 14-13 Falcons.

In the fourth quarter, the Falcons ripped off another long pass to set up a touchdown when Day found Greer on a fly pattern, who was able to fend off Trojan defensive back Brandon Smithburg for control of the ball on the seven yard line. On the next play, Day hit Snodgrass for a touchdown to make the score 20-13.

With 8:36 left to play, West Burlington-Notre Dame tried a two-point conversion, hoping to take a two-score lead late into the game. The two-point attempt failed, leaving the door open for the Trojans.

Painful penalty

Fairfield made the game interesting by marching deep into Falcon territory on the final drive. As the clock ticked down under two minutes, it looked like the Trojans would have a golden opportunity as Baumann broke free for a run that put him at the Falcons’ 11 yard line. Unfortunately for the Trojans, a Fairfield player was called for holding so the run was brought back.

The Trojans faced a third-and-12 from the Falcons’ 29 yard line. Baumann attempted a pass to Carson Crile, only to see it swatted down. On fourth down, a pass intended for Cade Lisk hit the ground, and that meant the Falcons could run out the clock.

Trojan head coach Mike Schenck said that he feels better about his team’s performance today than he did during the game itself.

“West Burlington is a good football team and they have some really skilled receivers,” he said. “That was basically the difference in the game. We did a nice job of running the football and of stopping the run.”

The play of the game in Schenck’s mind was the costly holding penalty on the final drive.

“I was really discouraged they made that call at that time,” he said. “We thought our linebackers were getting held all night.”

Coming through in the clutch

The Trojans’ Achilles’ heel this game was their inability to come through on third and fourth downs. The Trojans converted four of their 16 third downs and two of their six fourth downs. The Falcons converted seven of their 12 third down chances and their only fourth down.

Though the Falcons averaged 5.5 yards per play to the Trojans 4.1, on many metrics the teams were fairly even. Fairfield had more first downs than West Burlington-Notre Dame, 15-14, and kept a firm grip on the ball, never turning it over. The Falcons threw one interception. Both teams were penalized six times, the Falcons for 45 yards and the Trojans for 40.

Baumann completed eight of his 24 attempts for 70 yards, though he found success running the ball as he averaged 5.4 yards on 19 carries. Smithburg carried the ball 21 times, gaining 96 yards for an average of 4.6. Schenck said an area of improvement will be catching passes because the team dropped eight of them Friday.

The Falcons were 17-27 in passing, averaging 14.2 yards per catch. The Trojans averaged 8.8 yards per catch.

Hoskins finished with 30 yards receiving on two catches. Tristin Waugh caught three passes for a total of 22 yards. Crile hauled in a pass for 20 yards, and Lisk caught one for a single yard.

Brick wall

The main positive Fairfield can take away from the game and build on for this week is its ability to stop the run. The Trojans’ defense held West Burlington-Notre Dame to just 1.9 yards per carry on 26 attempts, compared to the Trojans’ 4.9 rushing yards on 41 attempts.

In the practices leading up to Friday’s matchup, the Trojans focused on stopping West Burlington-Notre Dame’s all-state running back Isaiah Trousil, who Schenck dubbed the “fastest kid in the state.” However, Trousil suffered an injury and instead of starting as the team’s tailback, started at linebacker and barely touched the ball. The Falcons wouldn’t need his speed as a ballcarrier because their passing game proved to be enough.

“We should have been getting ready to stop the pass, and instead we got ready to stop the run,” Schenck said.

Michael Fritz led the team with 5.5 tackles, including three by himself. Steeler Higdon had five tackles, all solo. Hoskins had four solo tackles and two assists for a total of five. Waugh and Baumann each had 4.5 tackles, while Smithburg had four. Trenton Hanen, Kyle Roberts, Lisk all had two. Crile, Simon Spalla, Zach Barnes, Brittan Bowman and Jose Rojo also made tackles.

Baumann had tremendous success on his punts as he averaged 51.5 yards on four tries. Hoskins returned two kickoffs for a total of 43 yards, and Lisk returned one for 14 yards.

Looking ahead

The loss is the Trojans first of the year as their record sits at 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the district. Their next game is Friday at Keokuk. After winning its first two games of the season, Keokuk suffered a 42-0 defeat at the hands of Solon last week.

“They’ve got a nice passing game, so we’ll need to pressure the quarterback to stop that,” Schenck said of Keokuk.

Fairfield 33 Keokuk 16

KEOKUK – The Trojan football team improved its conference record to 1-1 and its overall record to 3-1 Friday by defeating Keokuk, 33-16.

Running the ball has been the strong point of Fairfield’s offense this season, and Friday’s game was no different as the Trojans compiled 237 rushing yards on 46 attempts for an average of 5.2 yards per carry. What separated this game from the prior week’s loss to West Burlington-Notre Dame was that it included a dynamic passing attack as well. Though the Trojans didn’t take to the air often (11 attempts), they bit off large chunks of the field when they did as they averaged 26.4 yards on five receptions.

Trojan head coach Mike Schenck said he was pleased with everything he saw Friday night in Keokuk.

“I’m very proud of how our kids are playing,” he said.

Scoring early and often

Fairfield took control of the game by scoring four touchdowns in the first half while holding Keokuk scoreless. Quarterback Cameron Baumann lit up the scoreboard with a 46-yard run to put the Trojans ahead 6-0 with 2:32 to play in the first quarter.

The Trojans capped a pair of drives with short runs from Baumann to score touchdowns in the second quarter, the first on a 3-yard run with 9:02 left and the second a 2-yard run with 5:45 left. The two-point conversion attempt on the first was no good but the second, a pass from Baumann to Tristin Waugh, found its mark as the Trojans built a 20-0 lead.

Fairfield had another big play up its sleeve just before halftime as Baumann hit Carson Crile for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 1:16 to play. After Eric Swan’s extra point sailed through the uprights, the Chiefs stared at a 27-0 deficit.

The visitors continued pouring it on in the third quarter when Steeler Higdon punched it in from 8 yards out. Baumann’s attempt at a two-point conversion was no good, but the Trojans had built a commanding 33-0 lead with 10:29 to play in the quarter.

After Higdon’s score, Schenck put in his reserves to finish the game. The coach said it felt good to be able to rest his starters and let the backups get a taste of varsity action.

Brandon Smithburg did not play in the second half after suffering a deep bruise to his hip. Schenck said the young man was moving around the following day, but was still a little sore.

The Chiefs made some noise in the final stanza when Damon Wolter completed a 33-yard pass to Gavin Thompson for a score, followed by a successful two-point conversion. With 4:19 left in the game, Wolter ran it in from 13 yards out and completed another two-point conversion.

Fairfield amassed an impressive 369 total yards on 57 plays for an average of 6.5 yards per play. Keokuk, meanwhile, averaged 5.5 yards per play for a total of 264.

Keokuk was 7-19 passing with two interceptions and averaged 22.1 yards per completion. The Chiefs’ running game wasn’t quite up to par with Fairfield’s as they accumulated 109 yards on 29 touches for an average of 3.8 yards per carry.

The Chiefs battled not only a stout Fairfield defense but also themselves as they were penalized eight times for 95 yards. Three of those penalties were costly pass interference infractions. The Trojans were penalized more often, nine times, but not for as many yards, only 70.

Better in crunch time

The Trojans were better converting third downs this game than they were the prior week against West Burlington-Notre Dame. Against the Falcons, the Trojans converted four of their 16 third downs (25 percent), whereas they converted 6-15 (40 percent) against the Chiefs.

Schenck said Friday was one of Baumann’s best games of his career. He threw for nearly as many yards (132) as he ran for on the ground (134). He averaged 26.4 yards per completion on 5-11 attempts while averaging 8.9 yards per carry. Higdon ran for 64 yards and averaged 4.9 yards per touch. Smithburg picked up 26 yards on four carries. Noah Stone gained seven yards on eight carries, Cade Lisk garnered four yards on as many carries and Brittan Bowman ran the ball once for two yards.

Pulling down passes

Crile made his two catches count as he picked up 70 yards receiving. Waugh caught a pass for 36 yards, while Lisk caught one for 19 and Hunter Hoskins caught one for seven.

“Our offensive and defensive lines played well,” Schenck said. “Our kids got off the ball well and opened up some holes for us. I also thought we didn’t catch the ball well against West Burlington, but this time we caught everything that was thrown to us.”

Four Trojans were tied for the lead in tackles with 3.5. Michael Fritz had two on his own and three assisted. Josh Kessel had three solo and one assisted. Jose Rojo had two solo and three with help from teammates. Denver Schultz had three by himself and one assisted.

Smithburg had three solo tackles, while Trenton Hanen had one solo and three assisted. Saban Simons, Aaron Haines and Higdon all had two solo tackles. Lisk and Waugh had one tackle by themselves and one assisted. Also making tackles were Crile, Collin Breen, Kyle Roberts (a sack), Simon Spalla, Caden Jones and Baumann.

Baumann punted the ball four times for an average of 31.8 yards per punt. Hoskins returned two punts for an average of 3.5 yards per return. Hoskins returned a kickoff 23 yards.

The Trojans’ record stands at 3-1 on the season. Their next game will be Friday at home against Washington, a ranked team fresh off a 36-15 loss to Solon. It will be the second year in a row Fairfield has hosted the Demons. Last year, the Trojans fell 23-0 in a rain-shortened contest.

“Washington is a very good team. They have an outstanding quarterback and receiver,” Schenck said. “They like to run the quarterback option, and that’s what we’ll have to stop.”

Fairfield 7 Washington 24

After taking good care of the ball through the first four weeks of the season, the Fairfield football team was unable to continue the trend on Friday night as they fell to the visiting Washington Demons 24-7.

“We only had two turnovers all year coming into this game, and five tonight,” Fairfield head coach Mike Schenk said. “That gives an indication of some of the physical play that Washington had. They are a good football team.”

The loss pushes the Trojans to 3-2 on the season and 1-2 in district play.

Despite falling to their rivals to the northeast, the Trojan head coach was able to find some positives as his team looks to move forward this week.

“I think that we scored on a good team, and we didn’t score a touchdown last year on them,” Schenk said. “It was a good thing for our kids. We have a tough game next week with Oskaloosa, so hopefully we’ll be able to rebound.”

After giving up a touchdown on Washington’s second offensive possession of the game, the Trojan defense settled in and played stout the rest of the first half.

Fairfield fumbled the ball away after the Demon score, but the defense got the ball back on downs, and drove deep into Washington territory.

The Demon defense held on fourth and 1, ending the scoring threat, but the Trojan defense had a string of sacks to force a punt.

An interception halted Fairfield’s momentum, but the Trojans got the ball right back as Brandon Smithburg picked up an interception of his own, giving his offense some momentum.

That momentum wouldn’t last long, however, as a fumble gave the ball back to the Demons, and Washington drove down in the final seconds of the second half to put in a 31-yard field goal, making it 9-0 at the break.

“I thought our kids played hard,” Schenk said. “Washington was the bigger and more physical team, but I thought we fought hard. Down 9-0 at halftime, we felt we had a pretty good chance in the second half.”

In the second half, the Trojans mounted a drive, but a fumble at midfield gave Washington the ball, and the Demons capitalized, adding a two-point conversion to make it 17-0.

After trading possessions into the fourth quarter, a string of Washington penalties helped set up the Trojans deep inside Washington territory. Cameron Baumann punched the ball in from two yards out, and the added PAT put Fairfield on the board, 17-7, and after forcing a Washington punt, the Trojans had hope late in the game.

Facing a fourth down, the Trojans went for it, and Baumann appeared to have an open lane before slipping down short of the first-down marker, turning the ball over.

“A couple of things go the other way and maybe it’s a different ball game,” Schenk said. “The play of the game was when we went for it on fourth down and Cameron slipped going around the corner when he could have easily had the first down.”

Baumann was the offensive leader for the Trojans, picking up 114 yards on the ground, and throwing for 42 more, accounting for the only Fairfield points on the night.

Michael Fritz had 9.5 tackles for the Trojans, while Smithburg ended the night with a pair of interceptions.

Schenk noted that he hopes his team “continues to work hard with a great attidude” this week during practice.

The Trojans will hit the road on Friday night when they take on Oskaloosa, who will be coming off a 34-3 loss to Solon.

Fairfield 20 Oskaloosa 48

OSKALOOSA – The Trojan varsity football team had trouble with turnovers for the second game in a row, leading to a 48-20 road loss to Oskaloosa Friday.

The Indians are a pass-first offense, and their defenders proved they had a lot of practice defending the pass, too, as they picked off six of them. In their first four games of the year, the Trojans had coughed up the ball only twice, but they have done so 11 times in just the last two games.

Oskaloosa’s quarterback Ethan Arnold had a career night, throwing five touchdowns and only one interception while completing a high percentage of his passes, 29-42. Arnold began the scoring with a 25-yard toss to Jack Moore in the first quarter. Later in the quarter, Aaron Blom booted a 30-yard field goal through the uprights to give the Indians a 10-0 lead.

It looked like the Trojans would be held scoreless in the second quarter, and were hoping to keep the Indians off the board and enter halftime with a manageable deficit. Arnold had other ideas as he found Ethan Kelderman for a 32-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute to go before halftime.

Down by 17, the Trojans refused to quit as Fairfield marched the length of the field and eventually scored on a 3-yard pass from Baumann to Hunter Hoskins with seven seconds to go.

The Indians had a knack for halting the Trojans’ momentum, sadly, and scored on the opening drive of the second half as Arnold connected with Bennett Spry for a 45-yard touchdown to make the score 24-7. The Indians threatened again later in the quarter but were stymied when Steeler Higdon picked off a pass and ran it in for a score to cut the Trojans’ deficit to 24-14.

Fairfield’s mountain became steeper to climb when Arnold completed a 6-yard touchdown pass to Moore to begin the fourth quarter and push Oskaloosa’s lead back to 17. Brandon Smithburg got six of those points back when he ran it in from 13 yards out to make the score 31-20.

With 9:26 to go in the game, the Trojans were still alive but knew they couldn’t let the Indians put any more points on the board. Less than a minute later, Arnold launched another long pass, this time hitting Tanner DeKock for a 63-yard touchdown reception. With 4:40 on the clock, Blom made a 27-yard field goal to give the Indians a commanding three-touchdown lead at 41-20.

On Fairfield’s next drive, Alex DeJong intercepted a pass from Baumann and ran it in for the icing on Oskaloosa’s cake.

“Oskaloosa has a very good team,” said Trojan head coach Mike Schenck. “They were especially tough in their passing game. We had too many turnovers, and could not stay competitive in the second half.”

Fairfield managed a respectable 5.2 yards per play for 311 yards of total offense. The Trojans’ problem was they allowed 7.7 yards per play to the Indians, who amassed 525 total yards. Most of Oskaloosa’s damage was done in the air, 428 yards, while Fairfield opted to stay put on the ground, where it garnered 215 yards.

One of the consistent bright spots for the Trojans has been their ability to stop the run, and that continued Friday as Fairfield allowed only 3.7 yards per rush, while picking up 5.2 yards per carry themselves.

The two teams were fairly close in first downs as Fairfield had 20 and Oskaloosa had 23. Fairfield converted four of its 11 third-down attempts and Oskaloosa converted five of its 14, so they both converted about 36 percent of them. Oskaloosa converted its two fourth downs.

Baumann went 8-16 from the quarterback position, gaining 96 yards through the air including one touchdown to go with six interceptions. Baumann was also the team’s leading rusher with 125 yards on 17 touches. Smithburg touched the ball 20 times and picked up 90 yards. Cade Lisk gained three yards on three carries.

Lisk was the Trojans’ leading receiver with three catches for 48 yards. Tristin Waugh caught two passes for 33 yards. Carson Crile caught a pass for 7 yards, and Denver Schultz caught one for 5 yards. Hoskins caught a touchdown pass for 3 yards.

Michael Fritz had one of his best games on defense as he was credited with 11.5 tackles, including nine solo. Smithburg had 8.5 tackles, six by himself and one for a loss. Baumann had seven tackles, and Jose Rojo had 4.5. Hidgon had 3.5 tackles and one interception. Crile and Waugh each had three, while Waugh added a quarterback sack. Also making tackles for Fairfield were Trenton Hanen, Eric Swan, Kyle Roberts, Hoskins and Lisk.

Baumann punted the ball five times and averaged 44.2 yards per punt, including two punts inside Oskaloosa’s 20-yard line. Hoskins returned three kickoffs for an average of 18 yards. Lisk returned two for an average of 10.5 yards.

The team hopes the sting of Friday’s loss will quickly fade away to allow the players to enjoy homecoming festivities all this week. The Trojans’ homecoming matchup with Fort Madison Friday will start 30 minutes earlier than normal at 7 p.m.

Fairfield 41 Ft. Madison 0

A week of funny dress-up days and fun activities culminated in Friday’s homecoming football game between the Fairfield Trojans and the Fort Madison Bloodhounds. The theme for the week was “Pound the Hounds,” and that’s exactly what the Trojans did as they won handily, 41-0.

Fairfield took control of the game not just from the opening drive but from the opening play. On the first play from scrimmage, the Trojans ran a double reverse which put the ball in the hands of Cade Lisk. The team’s quarterback, Cam Baumann, snuck out from the pocket and was wide open down field. Lisk threw a strike to Baumann, who ran it in from 69 yards out to score. The extra point on the play was blocked, giving the Trojans a 6-0 lead.

A few minutes later, the Bloodhounds lined up to punt on fourth down from their own 25-yard line. The snap went over the punter’s head, who chased it down in the end zone and fell on top of it for a safety. That made the score 8-0.

With about two minutes to go in the first quarter, the Trojans put together a string of running plays from Baumann and Brandon Smithburg, which ultimately led to a 2-yard touchdown run by Baumann. The extra point was blocked a second time, making the score 14-0.

The Trojans’ defense forced a quick three-and-out to give their team another possession before quarter’s end. With 15 seconds to go, Baumann ran a quarterback sweep to the right. Fort Madison’s defenders had penetrated through the line, so Baumann charted a new course on the left side of the field. He picked up one blocker after another until he broke free for a 74-yard touchdown run. Eric Swan’s extra point was good and the score stood at 21-0 Trojans.

Baumann added a 2-yard run for a score in the second quarter to push the Trojans’ lead to 28. With 22 seconds to play in the half, Baumann launched a long pass to Tristin Waugh. With a defender hanging all over him, Waugh still caught the ball and ran it in for a 38-yard touchdown reception. The defender was called for pass interference but the Trojans naturally declined the penalty.

The Trojans scored in just 14 seconds to start the game, and somehow they managed to score even more quickly to begin the second half. The Trojans’ kickoff went into the arms of Alex Gully, who ran the ball 15 yards until Fairfield’s Michael Fritz jarred the ball loose on a tackle. Trojan Aaron Haines picked up the ball and was able to run it in unimpeded. That touchdown took all of nine seconds. Swan’s extra point to make it 41-0 was the last point scored.

“We had good activities for homecoming by getting the whole student body involved,” said Trojan head coach Mike Schenck. “The [players] felt their part was to take care of the football game, and they certainly did.”

Not surprisingly, the Trojans blew away the Bloodhounds in total offense, compiling 429 yards to the Hounds’ 123. Fairfield averaged 7.8 yards per play compared to Fort Madison’s 2.9.

Baumann was 2-11 passing with 75 yards through the air. Lisk’s lone throw was a completion for 69 yards. Brittan Bowman went 1-4 with eight yards passing.

In addition to the two touchdown receptions mentioned above, Carson Crile caught a pass for 37 yards and Caden Jones caught one for 8 yards.

Baumann rushed the ball 18 times while gaining 192 yards. Smithburg had 93 yards on 16 touches. Lisk ran it once for 3 yards.

Schenck said Fritz, also the school’s homecoming king, shined on defense as he collected six tackles, including two solo. Steeler Higdon had 4.5 tackles. Simon Spalla had three tackles. Also making tackles were Alex Sisomphane, Haines, Jose Rojo, Kyle Roberts, Spencer Else, Saban Simons, Hunter Hoskins, Carson Crile, Smithburg, Swan, Waugh, Lisk, Trenton Hanen and Chris Hanson.

Crile intercepted a pass and Ashton Lankford recovered a fumble.

The Trojans never punted in the game. They had seven fourth downs and converted on three of them. Baumann had one punt return for 9 yards. Jones had a kickoff return for 18 yards.

Fairfield’s next challenge will be at Mt. Pleasant Friday. The Panthers lost to Solon to fall to 3-4, but Schenck said they are improved over last year and boast one of the best running backs in the district.

“If we get a win over Mt. Pleasant, we’ll finish with a winning record, and that’s one of our goals,” said the coach.

The Trojans are 4-3. After Mt. Pleasant, the Trojans will host Solon to end the regular season on Oct. 21.

Fairfield 35 Mt. Pleasant 28

MT. PLEASANT (GTNS) – It was an instant classic in Mt. Pleasant on Friday night, as the hosting Panthers took on rival Fairfield in their last home game of the season.

Mt. Pleasant stormed back from a 14-point deficit to take their first lead late in the third quarter, but the Trojans scored two late touchdowns, including a game-winning pass from Cameron Baumann to Hunter Hoskins and a two point conversion to steal the victory, 35-28.

Fairfield started the game with a long drive early in the first quarter that ended with Baumann finding Cade Lisk on a jump-ball in the end zone for a 14-yard score. Eric Swan hit the extra point and it was 7-0 Trojans.

Mt. Pleasant tied the game early in the second quarter when Pat Canby leaped over the pile for a two-yard touchdown run. David Blancas made the extra point and it was all tied up at 7-7.

The Trojans scored the next 14 points in a row. First, Baumann found Tristin Waugh on a deep pass on Fairfield’s next drive. Waugh won a jump-ball over a Panther defensive back and turned it up field 76 yards for the Trojans’ longest score of the night to give Fairfield back the lead, at 14-7.

“This was the best our passing game has looked all year,” said Fairfield head coach Mike Schenck. “Great catch by Tristin Waugh on the long touchdown, but [he] was also helped out by great blocking by Carson Crile and Cade Lisk downfield to make that play happen.”

Brandon Smithburg helped make it 21-7 on a 10-yard touchdown run later in the second quarter, but the Panthers were able to respond right before halftime when Zach Beason found Jordan Magnani on a four-yard strike with just 25 second left to cut it to 21-14 at the break.

Mt. Pleasant had their biggest play of the game early in the third quarter. Beason found Canby on a screen pass and the senior back took it 77 yards to the end zone to help Mt. Pleasant tie the game up, at 21-21.

The scoring play was one of many successful screen passes by Mt. Pleasant in the game. Coach Shawn Striegel says adding more screen plays was part of the Panther’s strategy coming in.

“Coach Wilson came up with a pretty decent offensive plan there,” Striegel said. “The kids executed well. Our front line did a great job of releasing on time and Zach did a great job finding his receivers.”

The Panthers took their first lead with 1:05 remaining in the third quarter. Beason sent a 27-yard pass to Magnani, who went up high and came down with the catch in the end zone. Blancas hit his fourth extra point and it was 28-21 after three quarters.

It was Beason’s third touchdown pass of the game, which set a new career high for the sophomore QB.

“I’m very proud of the strides he has been making to be a better quarterback,” Striegel said. “The offensive line did a good job of picking up pressure and the receivers did a great job of running routes.”

With just 5:49 remaining in the fourth quarter, Baumann found Cade Lisk for a 12-yard touchdown pass. Eric Swan’s extra point attempt went wide right, however, and the Panthers held a one-point lead, at 28-27.

Mt. Pleasant looked to have stolen the momentum right back on their next drive when Beason hit Zac Ebeling on a screen pass, which went for 60-plus yards down the field, but the play was called back on a holding call and the Panthers were forced to punt.

“When that penalty happened, we lost the momentum,” Striegel said. “In high school sports, that’s everything.”

Baumann led the Trojans downfield on their ensuing drive, and found Hoskins on a six-yard strike for his fourth touchdown pass. He also ran in the two-point conversion and Fairfield was back in control with a 35-28 lead.

Mt. Pleasant was able to gain some yardage on the final drive with quick strikes to the sideline, but the Hail Mary attempt fell short and the Trojans walked out with the win.

“Our kids have battled all year and have never given up,” said Schenck about the fourth-quarter comeback. “Those last two scores were no different. The kids never panic and I think that is because of our seniors and their leadership.”

Schenck also reflected on the Panther running game and how close of a game it turned out to be.

“It was a great game,” he said. “Mt. Pleasant has a good football team and Pat Canby was tough all night. That made it difficult for our defense to recognize where he was and try and stop him…but I was proud of our kids and the toughness and resiliency they played with.”

Baumann finished the game 7-10 with 148 yards through the air, four touchdowns and one interception. Waugh had one catch for 76 yards receiving with one touchdown and Lisk had four catches for 60 yards and two scores.

Smithburg finished the game with 18 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown. Baumann had 45 yards on the ground.

Canby led the Panthers with 107 yards rushing and 106 yards receiving on three catches. Canby found the end zone once on the ground and once through the air.

Beason was 14-23 throwing the ball with 212 yards and three touchdowns. Kieran Kohorst had four catches for 41 yards, and Magnani had three catches for 31 yards.

Fairfield moved to 5-3 overall and 3-3 in district play. They’ll host state-ranked Solon in their final game. Mt. Pleasant (3-4, 2-4) will be on the road at Keokuk. Both of those games will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Fairfield 14 Solon 54

The football careers of 15 Trojans came to an end Friday in Fairfield’s final game of the regular season. Though Solon spoiled the going away party by beating the Trojans 54-14, Fairfield can take solace in finishing the season above .500 at 5-4.

Solon came into Friday’s matchup 7-1, its only blemish a 34-0 route at Iowa City-Regina on Sept. 2. Since then, the Spartans had run roughshod over their southeast Iowa competition, winning by an average of 35 points per game.

The Spartans lived up to their billing as one of the best teams in the state by staking out a 41-0 lead by halftime. Despite the large deficit, Fairfield refused to die and outscored Solon 14-13 in the second half.

“I thought we played much better in the second half,” said Trojan head coach Mike Schenck. “We just didn’t have any answers for them in the first half.”

Schenck said he knew Solon would be tough but hoped his team could stay within striking distance, which proved to be a tall task.

“We talked to the kids at halftime, and especially the seniors, about not giving up, and they did a pretty good job in the second half,” he said.

A pair of long runs

Fairfield’s first touchdown came on an unlikely play from its own 10-yard line with about eight minutes to play in the third quarter. The Trojans struggled to move the ball in the first quarter, but on this play they moved it 90 yards into the end zone.

Quarterback Cameron Baumann ran an option in which he could either hand the ball to Brandon Smithburg or keep it and run it himself. He decided to keep it, and after a terrific block by Tristin Waugh, he managed to elude the remaining defenders between him and the end zone. Eric Swan kicked the extra point through the uprights to make the score 47-7.

Schenck said the long touchdown run put Baumann over the 1,000-yard mark for rushing yards during the season, an impressive accomplishment for a quarterback.

The Trojans’ second score came courtesy of Smithburg in the fourth quarter. Smithburg was given the ball on a power play and able to find a seam and break a tackle to carry the ball 43 yards for six points.

“It was a nice way to finish his four years in Fairfield,” Schenck said.

Season review

Friday’s game ended a rollercoaster season for a Fairfield team that had seen its fair share of highs and lows. One of the highlights of the year was knocking off No. 4-rated Williamsburg to begin the season. The Trojans followed that up with a huge 45-14 win over Knoxville, but in Week 3, Fairfield dropped a game to West Burlington-Notre Dame that it felt should have gone in the win column.

Fairfield rebounded to beat Keokuk on the road but then had two of its worst games in back-to-back losses against Washington and Oskaloosa during which the Trojans committed 11 turnovers. Fairfield won its homecoming game against Fort Madison easily, and followed that performance by stealing a win away from the Panthers in Mt. Pleasant to secure a winning record.

Schenck said his team did very well at holding onto the ball against Solon, committing only one turnover, but the team had other problems.

“Solon was able to run right at us,” he said. “They have a nice little receiver in No. 4 [Graeson Dall], and we needed linebacker coverage on him because we didn’t have anybody quick enough to keep him under wraps.”

Senior leadership

Schenck said 2016 was one of his most enjoyable years coaching.

“The seniors have been great all the way through,” he said. “Two started for us for four years, Cameron Baumann and Michael Fritz. They obviously have great talent and leadership. I told the team Friday I was sorry the season came to an end the way it did, but you only get one chance at these things.”

Schenck said the district was stronger this year than it has been in many years. Outside of Fort Madison, which never won a game, Schenck said there were no “gimmies” in the district, and that each team had to play well on Friday night to get a victory.

Game stats

In the final game of his career, Baumann went 10-22 in the passing department with 101 yards through the air. Baumann also ran the ball for 105 yards on 11 touches. Smithburg picked up 60 yards on eight tries. Steeler Higdon had two carries for 11 yards, and Cade Lisk ran the ball once for five yards.

Waugh caught two passes for a total of 36 yards. Lisk caught four for 31 yards. Hunter Hoskins corralled two passes for 16 yards, and Smithburg caught one for 11 yards. Carson Crile had one catch for seven yards.

Fritz led the team in tackling with 5.5, including one solo tackle for a loss and one assist on a tackle for a loss. Trenton Hanen had five tackles, three by himself. Crile brought down 3.5, including two solo tackles for a loss. Waugh had three tackles, including a solo tackle for a loss.

Kyle Roberts and Higdon had three tackles. Smithburg and Hoskins each had 2.5. Austin Winslow tackled two Spartans, and Chris Hanson brought down 1.5. Also recording tackles were Baumann, Lisk, Jose Rojo, Alex Sisomphane, Denver Schultz and Aaron Haines.

Swan made both of his extra-point attempts. Baumann punted the ball five times and averaged 31 yards per punt. Hoskins returned four kickoffs for an average of 12.3 yards, while Lisk returned three for an average of 15.7. Smithburg returned one for nine yards.

Graduating seniors

The seniors who played their final game in a Trojan uniform Friday are Schultz, Roberts, Sisomphane, Josh Kessel, Simon Spalla, Rojo, Smithburg, Baumann, Fritz, Dallas Peebler, Spencer Else, Winslow, Hanen, Hanson and Brian Buch.

Awards Banquet

2016 Award Winners - L to R Offensive MVP - Cameron Baumann Duke Bisby Senior Leadership Award - Brandon Smithburg Mark Campbell Offensive Line Award - Trenton Hanen Defensive MVP - Michael Fritz Brad Wickliff Attitude Award - Kyle Roberts

8 Trojans make All-District

Fairfield finished its 2016 football campaign with a record of 5-4. The winning record was made possible by a number of standout performers, and eight of them were fortunate enough to be named to the All-District team.

First team

Four Trojans were selected to the All-District first team, and four were placed on its second team. The Trojans’ representation on the first team consists of three seniors and a sophomore. The seniors are Cameron Baumann, Michael Fritz and Brandon Smithburg. Tristin Waugh represented the sophomore class.

#15 Cameron Baumann

Baumann was one of the most dynamic players in District 5 as he played a critical role in the Trojans’ offense, defense and special teams. In his fourth year as Fairfield’s primary signal caller, Baumann ripped apart offenses with his arm and his legs. He threw for 883 yards and 11 touchdowns while gaining even more yards on the ground, 1,041, to go with 14 rushing touchdowns. He also caught a pass for a touchdown.

As a defensive back, Baumann amassed 30.5 tackles and four interceptions. He was one of the best punters in the state as his 41.8 yards per kick put him second in Class 3A. Baumann was the lone Trojan to be nominated to the All-State team, which he accomplished as a punter/utility player.

#52 Michael Fritz

Like Baumann, Fritz was a starter all four years of his football career. He was the team’s leading tackler as a junior when he brought down 41 ball carriers. Fritz took his game to another level in 2016 when he collected 67 tackles, including 10 tackles for a loss and one sack. Fritz was one of only five players nominated to the Shrine Bowl.

#11 Brandon Smithburg

Smithburg was another Trojan who was active on both sides of the ball, serving as the team’s leading running back as well as one of its top linebackers. He averaged a solid 5.1 yards per carry on his way to raking in 726 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. Smithburg was third on the team with 41 tackles, and brought down four ball carriers for a loss while intercepting two passes.

#44 Tristin Waugh

Of the 36 players on the All-District first team, Waugh was one of only two sophomores, and Trojan head coach Mike Schenck is sure glad to have him around for another two seasons.

Defensive coordinators went nuts searching for a coverage to contain Waugh. His 435 receiving yards were sixth most in the district. Of receivers in the district with at least 22 catches, only one averaged more yards per reception than Waugh, who finished with 19.8. The sophomore tight end was also a terrific defensive end as his 32 tackles put him fourth on the team, not to mention the 10 tackles for a loss he contributed.

Second team

A couple more seniors made the second team, and they were Trenton Hanen and Kyle Roberts. Juniors Steeler Higdon and Cade Lisk were also named to the second team.

#66 Trenton Hanen, #53 Kyle Roberts

Hanen was sixth on the team in total tackles with 28. He also had a solo tackle for a loss and a sack assist. Roberts had 19 tackles, two solo tackles for a loss and a solo sack.

#31 Steeler Higdon, #12 Cade Lisk

Higdon was the team’s third leading rusher as he picked up 100 yards on 21 carries, including one for a touchdown. Higdon was second on the team in tackles with 41.5. Lisk had 22.5 tackles, including a solo tackle for a loss. He was also a dependable receiver, bringing down 16 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns.

All-Academic

Fairfield was well represented on the All-Academic team, too. The team is just for juniors and seniors who have maintained a grade point average of at least 3.25. Making the list were Brian Buch, Fritz, Aaron Haines, Higdon, Hunter Hoskins, Jose Rojo, Denver Schultz, Smithburg, Simon Spalla and Austin Winslow.

Trojans put four on All-Golden Triangle

QB: Cameron Baumann, Fairfield senior

There was hardly anything that Fairfield’s Cameron Baumann could not do on a football field. Baumann was a big reason the Trojans finished with a winning record of 5-4, helping them in multiple roles.

Baumann was a four-year starter for Coach Mike Schenck, who is sad to see him go. The Fairfield senior threw for 883 yards and 11 touchdowns while running for 1,041 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. His 1,924 total yards were fourth in the district.

On defense, Baumann collected 30.5 tackles and four interceptions. Even more impressive than his running, passing and tackling game was what he did with his foot. He was one of the best punters in the state as his 41.8 yards per kick put him second in Class 3A. Baumann was on the All-District first team and was nominated to the All-State team as a punter/utility player.

DL: Tristin Waugh, Fairfield sophomore

Tristin Waugh of Fairfield is only a sophomore but he’s earning postseason honors like a seasoned veteran. Waugh was one of only two sophomores named to the All-District first team.

Waugh was a thorn in the side of opposing coaches because he made big plays on both sides of the ball. As a receiver, Waugh caught 22 passes for 435 yards, sixth most in the district. The sophomore also made his receptions count as he averaged a whopping 19.8 yards per catch. Waugh was also a terrific defender as his 32 tackles put him fourth on the team.

DL: Michael Fritz, Fairfield senior

Michael Fritz started for Fairfield each of his four years. He has been the team’s leading tackler for the past two years, and this year he was one of the best in the district. His 67 tackles were behind only Luke Shipley of West Burlington-Notre Dame for most in District 3A-5. For his work on the line, Fritz was named to the All-District first team and was one of only five district players nominated to the Shrine Bowl.

LB: Brandon Smithburg, Fairfield senior

Brandon Smithburg was one of the Trojans’ best tacklers and its best ball carrier in 2016, which led to his selection on the All-District first team. He was third on the team with 41 tackles, to go with four tackles for a loss and two interceptions. He got some experience at the running back position as a junior and really took flight in his senior season. Smithburg ran for 726 yards and four rushing touchdowns.

Baumann All State Punter

Fairfield senior Cameron Baumann’s final season of high school football ended as the INA’s Class 3A third-team all-state punter after recording an average of 41.8 yards on 29 total punts, including a long boot of 68 yards. When he wasn’t kicking the ball, Baumann moved it downfield as the Trojan quarterback gained 1,993 total yards of offense, including 1,041 rushing yards and 26 total touchdowns.

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