A year after going winless, Fairfield football program is advancing to the Class 2A sectional semifinals. 

The Falcons, who improved to 5-5, earned a berth into the second round after upending host Bluffton, 27-7, in opening round sectional play on Friday.

Fairfield hosts Prairie Heights (2-8) at 7 p.m. next Friday. 

On Friday, Fairfield quarterback Cory Lantz rushed for 89 yards on 18 carries and scored twice. His nine-yard scoring run gave the Falcons a 6-0 lead with 9:01 left in the first quarter. The two-point conversion pass failed. 

Lantz's six-yard touchdown run gave Fairfield a 27-7 lead with 1:30 left in the game.

Adam Kezar added 79 yards rushing on eight carries and scored once for the Falcons. His 31-yard scoring run gave Fairfield the lead for good at 12-7 with 5:22 left in the third quarter.

Fairfield also scored on an 86-yard interception return by Brock Short. It was one of four interceptions by the Falcons. Short had two, while Nolin Sharick and Dalton Cripe each had one. 

Defensively, Fairfield held Bluffton to 22 yards rushing on 19 attempts. Tigers quarterback Hayden Nern completed 19-of-37 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown. 

 • EAST NOBLE 42, NORTHRIDGE 21: Quarterback Bailey Parker completed 19 of his 31 passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns, to lead No. 2 East Noble to the Class 4A sectional victory over the Raiders.

Wide receiver Hayden Jones caught eight of Parker's passes for 146 yards and three scores, including a 60-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Justin Marcellus added 122 yards rushing and the first touchdown of the game less than a minute in on a 60 yard run.

Caid Lacey had a strong game for Northridge, carrying the ball 23 times for 163 yards and all three Raider touchdowns.

Northridge closes with a 4-6 mark, while East Noble (10-0) advances to play DeKalb (8-2).



Scoring By Quarters

East Noble`14`14`14`0`—`42


Scoring Plays

First Quarter

EN — Justin Marcellus 46 run; Jaron Bobay kick; 11:07.

EN — Rowan Zolman 12 pass from Bailey Parker; Bobay kick; 1:40.

Second Quarter

N — Caid Lacey 48 run; Cameron Graber kick; 10:17.

EN — Bailey Parker 8 run; Bobay kick 5:20.

EN — Hayden Jones 12 pass from Parker; Bobay kick; 0:19.

Third Quarter

N — Lacey 1 run; Graber kick; 6:59.

EN — Jones 15 pass from Parker; Bobay kick; 5:09.

EN — Jones 60 pass from Parker; Bobay kick; 3:31.

Fourth Quarter

N — Lacey 10 run; Graber kick; 3:05.

Team Statistics


Rush yards`188`216

Pass yards`271`158

Total yards`459`375

First downs`21`17


Had intercepted`1`3


Individual Leaders

East Noble: Rushing — Justin Marcellus 20-122, Bailey Parker 5-68. Passing — Parker 19-31-271, 1 int. Receiving — Hayden Jones 8-46, Nick Munson 7-83, Marcellus 2-21. Interceptions — Rowan Zolman 2, Bryce Arnold.

Northridge: Rushing — Caid Lacey 23-163, Dominic Crowder 4-18. Passing — Oliver Eveler 8-21-121, 3 int., Josh Beard 1-1-37. Receiving — Beard 3-53, Jett Gott 3-47, Breckin Judd 1-37, Austin Flora 2-21. Interceptions — Cameron Waters.



Scoring By Quarters



Scoring Plays

First Quarter

F — Cory Lantz 9 run; pass failed; 9:01

Second Quarter

B — Robert Malcolm 83 pass from Hayden Nern; Kody Kinsey kick; 6:45

Third Quarter

F — Adam Kezar 31 run; run failed; 5:22

F — Brock Short 86 interception return; Lantz run; 4:21

Fourth Quarter

F — Lantz 6 run; Nolin Sharick kick; 1:30

Team Statistics


Rush yards`239`22

Pass yards`11`217

Total yards`250`239

First downs`13`11


Had intercepted`0`4


Individual Leaders

Fairfield: Rushing — Cory Lantz 18-89, Adam Kezar 8-79, Carson Abramson 16-47. Passing — Lantz 1-4-11. Receiving — Dalton Cripe 1-11. Interceptions — Brock Short 2, Nolin Sharick, Cripe. Fumble recoveries — Kezar. Sacks — Colton Fisher 2, Abramson 2.

Bluffton: Rushing — Cody Mittlestedt 12-48. Passing — Hayden Nern 19-37-217 (4 int.). Receiving — Robert Malcolm 6-152, Cody Mittlestedt 5-42, Kaden Gerber 1-19.  Fumble recoveries — Cameron Coleman, Lukas Hunt, Nate Bueter.

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