BENTON — Twin Lakes’ decision to become less of a multi-formation, spread-offense team and use more power paid off.
The power was on display Friday, Nov. 1, as the Indians outlasted Fairfield 27-21 in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. Twin Lakes (7-4) plays at Jimtown (9-2) Friday, Nov. 8, for a sectional championship.
“We recently decided we were going to use our size to our advantage,” said Twin Lakes coach Justin Gardiner. “The kids have picked up that mentality and started playing with a little attitude.”
With an offense line featuring a 300-pounder (center Anthony Fitz), a 270-pounder (left tackle Matt Bonnell) and a 238-pounder (right tackle Ezra Kies) and a pair 200-plus-pound backs (tailback Michael Griffin and fullback Tristan Baker), the Indians rocked and socked their way to 21 first downs (17 on the ground) and beat the Falcons with a 1-yard quarterback keeper by Cameron Bennington with 1:46 to play.
Twin Lakes left the door open a crack when the extra point was missed, but the Indians stopped Fairfield and quickly took over possession and ran out the clock.
“Since the second half of the Culver Military game, they’ve pounded the ball with those big kids,” said Fairfield coach Bob Miller. “In the end, they were bigger.”
Fairfield got on the board first with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Mast to Jaylin Miller and also had a 30-yard TD run by Mitch DeWitt and 92-yard scoring sprint by Cameron Kitson in the second quarter.
Kitson wound up the season with 26 touchdowns — one short of the single-season school record established by Jayme Mathews.
Twin Lakes’ other scores were a 58-yard run by Bennington in the second quarter and runs of 2 and 48 yards by Griffin in the second and third periods.
TWIN LAKES 27, FAIRFIELD 21
Scoring by Quarters
Twin Lakes 0 14 7 6 — 27
Fairfield 7 14 0 0 — 21
School — Scoring Play
F — Jaylin Miller 10 pass from Kyle Mast; Reid Kammerdiener kick, 5:57.
TL — Cameron Bennington 58 run; Ryan Hibbets kick, 9:56.
F — Mitch DeWitt 30 run; Kammerdiener kick, 8:26.
F — Cameron Kitson 92 run; Kammerdiener kick, 4:26.
TL — Michael Griffin 2 run; Hibbets kick, 1:08.
TL — Griffin 48 run; Hibbets kick, 10:21.
TL — C. Bennington 1 run; kick failed, 1:46.
Officials: David Spencer and Bruce Wirick, each of Granger; Michael Grenert and Thomas Holobyn, each of South Bend; James Weinberg, New Carlisle.
Team Statistics TL Ff
Net yards rushing 360 66
Net yards passing 91 129
Total Yards 451 195
First Downs 21 11
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties 9-72 1-5
Twin Lakes: Rushing — Michael Griffin 27-248, Cameron Bennington 12-65. Passing — C. Bennington 6-9-91 (0 int.). Receiving — Levi Pitts 3-40, Bryce Bennington 2-38. Interception — Kole Young.
Fairfield: Rushing — Mitch DeWitt 2-32, Tony Zook 7-20. Passing — Mast 10-21-129 (1 int.), DeWitt 0-1-0 (0 int.). Receiving — Cameron Kitson 1-66, Garrett Cole 3-45. Fumble recoveries — Nolan Miller.